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Patriot Day is celebrated with a monument dedication

By Staff | Sep 16, 2010

Charlie Hall reads lyrics from "Have You Forgotten", and former firefighters Harold Drick and Austin Artley unveiled the new monument dedicated to all deceased Muncy Township Volunteer firefighters and Ladies' Auxiliary members at the Pennsdale Station 23 on Village Rd. Saturday afternoon during a memorial service.

PENNSDALE – Many mixed emotions were shared on a pleasant, sunny Saturday afternoon as Station 23 Volunteer Fire Department held a service and monument dedication to honor deceased firefighters and Ladies’ Auxiliary members.

Some teary eyed, some excited, some delighted, and some sorrowful as all emergency responders were recognized by local dignitaries for their endless dedication serving their community.

“This is officially Patriot ‘Day in America,” announced Charlie Hall from Representative Everett’s office. As he read the lyrics from a song written in 2003 by Darryl Worley, “Have You Forgotten”, Hall reminded a crowd of close to 100 citizens about past events and how 9-11 events should never be forgotten, reminding us of our freedom and those who fought and died for it. “What are you doing to make sure you haven’t forgotten?” he asked before dedicating a proclamation honoring the Muncy Township Fire Company’s firefighters and Ladies’ Auxiliary members. Hall told the audience how it took 12 and one half years for their office in Pennsdale to track all of the names who perished in the 9-11 attacks.

A well planned program began with a procession of the Station’s fire engines and emergency vehicles accompanied by bagpipes and current firefighters and emergency responders. An invocation was given by Pastor Bill Gibson prior to Hall’s speech and then followed with acknowledging remarks by County Commissioner, Jeff Wheeland.

Township Supervisor, Paul Wentzler reminded everyone that the day was a day in history dedicated to the families and years of hard work from past responders who volunteered their time to handle emergencies lacking the technology we have today. “It is not just a black raincoat and a red fire hat anymore,” Wentzler explained. “The responsibilities entrusted today for the fire departments far exceed what they were in the past. The growth area of Lycoming County is in our back yard. Do we have the necessary requirements and equipment for training?” he asked. “And we must not forget the auxiliaries who keep the firefighters in the Township going and the women who are now volunteering,” as he nodded to the two female firefighters dressed in blue.

Names of deceased firefighters and ladies auxiliary members are engraved a the new monument resting in front of the Pennsdale Fire Station No. 23 on Village Road.

A brief history of the fire company was given by President, Don Reese who discussed its formation in 1949. Station 23 was officially recognized as a protection provider for area residents and became a fire company August 1, 1949.

Following a ribbon cutting ceremony, original charter members Harold Drick and Austin Arley were present to unveil the new monument with all of the deceased names engraved on it. Each name was read aloud by Corey Palmatier and Don Reese and the bright yellow bell on the monument resonated its sounding voice after each name. Barb Snyder read the names of the deceased Ladies’ Auxiliary members.

A moment of silence was given for all 9/11 victims and those responders who have given their honor and time to serving their respective communities. A solemn moment, yet glorious as the American flag waved at half mast and the bagpipes played “Amazing Grace.”

Committee members and organizers for the dedication and ceremony were Bob Miller, Chair, Paula Miller, John Magyar who did the introductions, Barb and Bob Snyder, Dan Doughton, Randy Stroup and Chad Wines.