American Legion honors this nation's fallen heroes
Each year, members of Allen O. Delke Post 16 American Legion, Slatington, tour area cemeteries holding a short ceremony including a 21-gun salute and playing "Taps" to honor this nation's fallen heroes on Memorial Day weekend.
Dennis Ziegler, president of the Memorial Day Committee, was master of ceremonies for the event.
At each cemetery, beginning with Jacob's Church, Jacksonville, he said: "Our veterans served during many of our country's most difficult eras. Help us to continue in honoring the values they have bestowed upon our great nation: loyalty, respect, brotherhood, duty, service, honor and trust, in honor of all veterans."
The speaking part of the program was followed by a 21-gun salute and the playing of "Taps" in the echoing styleby Marc Beleno and Nate Czarnecki. The two Northern Lehigh students say they enjoy the privilege of traveling with the Legion.
Members of the Sons of the American Legion and Legion Riders accompany the Legionaires.
The group then moved to Ebenezer United Church of Christ in New Tripoli.
The Rev. Kevin Fruchtl said some gather for the celebration of freedom, but this is the only way he can see to start this day. He said people should thank the Legion.
Ziegler continued hishonoring speech
"Again our nation has assembled to honor its heroic dead," Ziegler said.
"A thousand battles of land and sea and air echo the glory of their valiant deeds.
"Under the quiet sod or beneath the murmuring waves, their bodies sleep in peace. But in the destinies of men, their souls go marching on. Because of them, our lives are free. Because of them, our nation lives."
Jim Grooves gave American flags to the children at each stop.
At Heidelberg Union Church the story continued as Ziegler said: "On this Memorial Day let us pledge ourselves anew to patriotic service.
"Let us make ourselves the friend and brother, son and father of those who will not see their own again in mortal flesh."
At Neffs Lutheran Church Gina Lakatosh, walking beside the Legionaires, said "You see how important you are. I take pictures."
Ziegler continued his presentation.
"All who stand with us today, will you not consecrate yourselves with us to emulate their sacred service that those who rest in heroes graves may not have died in vain."
The American Legion continued to the cemeteries in the Slatington area and, the next day paraded to Union Cemetery where a program included the laying of a wreath on the grave of Allen O. Delke for whom the post is named.