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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hanover Tp's 5th Annual Armed Forces Day

Over 200 on hand for 5th annual Armed Forces Day Program

Over 200 people defied threatening skies on May 21 to attend Hanover Township's 5th annual Armed Forces Day at Armed Services Park, located on Route 512. The ceremony and the park itself, are dedicated to the men and women who are serving and have served in all branches of the military. Residents and dignitaries gathered underneath the flags of each branch of service, along with the Stars and Stripes, to reflect on the sacrifices made by those in uniform.

For some, it is the ultimate sacrifice. A life lost in some arid desert. A snake infested jungle. A bloody beach. "We leave you our deaths," those silent soldiers say. "Give them their meaning."

Warriors' Watch Riders pay their respects. 
The Brass and Woodwind Ensembles of the American Legion Band of Bethlehem and Nitschmann Middle School played several musical selections in honor of those in the Armed Service. And out of nowhere, the Warriors Watch Riders roared into the ceremony, armed with American flags. They stood throughout the entire ceremony.

American Legion Band Brass Ensemble
State Senator Mario Scavello, Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano and Marta Boulos Gabriel, as a representative for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, all attended this simple ceremony, along with recently retired Supervisor Glenn Walbert.

Township Manger Jay Finnigan served as Master of Ceremonies, while Vince Milite and his Public Works crew managed to keep the rain away. Colonial Regional Police made sure everyone was safely and conveniently parked.

Col. Douglas S. Watson (US Army Ret.)
The guest speaker was Col. Douglas S Watson (US Army Ret.). He grew up in Hanover Township with Supervisor John Nagle, who introduced him. He graduated from Freedom High School in 1973, and spent 27 years in the Army, dealing with dealing anti-terrorism operations and emergency preparedness. At the time of his retirement, he was a Division Chief at the Pentagon, and oversaw a multi-billion dollar annual program in support of all US Army Law Enforcement functions. As he himself put it, "I was a Chief of Police."

For the past 12 years, he has held executive positions with Disney California Adventure in Anaheim and as General Manager of Park Operations and Director of Security at Disneyland.

American Legion Honor Guard, Post 379
He called the United States military "the finest fighting force the world has ever known." Butt he warned that, as other nations grow strong, our security is "at risk." While he said he was honored to be invited, he stressed that no soldier deserves recognition for simply doing his duty. "Duty is its own reward," he said.

He also mentioned his mother, who was present and stressed that "the strength of the Armed Forces is their families."

At the conclusion of the ceremony, American Legion of Bethlehem. Post 379's honor guard presented a 21-gun salute in honor of the fallen.

As the smoke cleared, WWII Veteran LeRohn "Dan" Deysher stood a distance from the crowd, and played Taps. Deysher served three years during WWII in the United States Navy aboard the USS Pennsylvania as Mus1C from the Aleutians to Okinawa, followed by three years shore duty to complete his enlistment. Retiring from Bethlehem Steel in 1984, he has played Taps for over 3,400 military funerals, Memorial Day services and other remembrances.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for covering this event. While little replaces past shames, today many folks stop in place when they see a veteran and say thank you. I see it a lot.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate your sentiment, not trying to be nitpicky,only inform. Armed Forces Day is strictly to honor those SERVING currently. Those who served are celebrated on Veterans Day.

Anonymous said...

Exactly...... Armed Services Day is to Honor those CURRENTLY SERVING. Veterans Day is to HONOR TJOSE THAT HAVE SERVED and those that lost their lives. Get it right people. It does matter!

Anonymous said...

While he said he was honored to be invited, he stressed that no soldier deserves recognition for simply doing his duty. "Duty is its own reward," he said. This is a volunteer armed forces. They all deserve recognition. They do not make millions of dollars in fact many are on welfare. They now have to pay for their health care and the government is cheating them on their retirement benefits which are meager to begin with. Yest they must be recogonized

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:45, It is a celebration of the Armed Forces, which in my view includes everyone who is serving or who has served.

Anonymous said...

Hanover is the only municipality that celebrates Armed Forces Day. If it is only for those serving, everyone needs to show up out of honor for those serving today. Armed forces Day 2017 is May 20th. See you in Hanover!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but you don't have it right. Veterans day is for veterans, Memorial day is for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

You sir are miss informed.

Anonymous said...

Armed Forces Day in the United States
Many Americans celebrate Armed Forces Day annually on the third Saturday of May. It is a day to pay tribute to men and women who serve the United States’ armed forces. Armed Forces Day is also part of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May.

What Do People Do?
Many events across the United States take place on Armed Forces Day to honor Americans in uniform who served their country in times of war and peace. Those who are honored on this day include people who serve the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in May because of their unique training schedules. Events and activities may include:
Multi-service military displays in areas open for the public.
Various educational activities that teach children about the armed forces.
“Support the Troops” themed motorcycle rides.
Large parades and other local celebrations.
Certain types of music are also played at Armed Forces Day events, including at memorials and at cemeteries, as a way to respect those in the armed forces who died for their country. For example, buglers have played a bugle call, known simply as Taps, on Armed Forces Day in recent years. Taps is usually sounded by the United States military at events such as flag ceremonies, memorial services and funerals.

Anonymous said...

To make us of a war oriented culture we now have more and more days and events set up to honor people in the services. Veterans day and Memorial day have always been around and are special. All these other ceremonies are more like recruiting tools to keep up manpower for our never ending wars for the war machine profiteers.

We need to wake up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There are not more days and events. Armed Forces day was established in 1949. memorial Day started after the Civil War. Veterans' Daty followed WWI. The idea was to promote peace, not war, and to honor those who serve and, in some cases, make the ultimate sacrifice.

If anyone needs to wake up, it is you.

Anonymous said...

4:02 wtf are you talking about? More days and more events? please elaborate.
DO a little home work on why some of these days existed . I believe the country was trying to promote a peaceful life style after years of war in the late 1940's.

It might do you some good to show up to a few of these events on Monday to really see what it is / was all about, that is, if you can stand to miss a Kardashian show.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Armed Forces Day is supposed to honor current members of the Armed Forces. One of the reasons the day is not widely celebrated in the Lehigh Valley is that there is no active duty station near here. There are a very small number of active duty members serving in area National Guard, Navy and Marine Reserves stations. It would be nice to see some of them and their reserve units attend this ceremony, but it's their choice to attend or not. Hanover Township does honor the Armed Services by having a very nice park named in their honor and by hosting the only Armed Services Day Event in the Valley. The vets that attend this event know it's not for them. We're there to honor current members of the Armed Forces, however there's no harm in being recognized as veterans or respecting those who are gone.