Veterans signed checks payable to America’s citizens
HUGHESVILLE – “I recommend the military as a way of life,” said Gene Otterbein, Sr., speaker at Memorial Day Services held in Pleasant Hill Cemetery at Hughesville. “There is no place to acquire a better education and training that doesn’t come from a textbook while being among the finest men and woman,” Otterbein said.
- The speaker, a Williamsport native currently residing in Picture Rocks, reminded all there is often a toll connected to service.?
Researching to find a description as to what makes a veteran, a veteran; Otterbein was dissatisfied with answers he found until remembering something from the internet. It stated that, “A veteran is a person who writes out a check made payable to the citizens of the United States of America, for an amount up to and including his or her life.”?
The speaker listed the number as being one and a quarter million military personnel who gave the ultimate price in just five wars. They included the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
Otterbein considers himself lucky, for while serving over 20 years in the Air Force, he never directly experienced combat, nor did he raise a weapon against another human being.
For many, he said, “War takes a horrible tool on the human body, spirit and mind. Regardless of whether a veteran has been in combat or not, it changes him or her forever.”?
In conclusion, the speaker said, “Today of all days, I hope the American people can put aside their own personal strife and take time to remember those who are out of sight and out of mind, our brave military personal who have put service before self.”
And also, “Today we honor and pay respect to our war dead. We must never forget their families, or those who returned with the scars of war and horrid memories of days past.”
- Additional participants in the solemn service were the Rev. Matt McGovern, Family Life pastor of Hughesville Friends Church, who gave the invocation and benediction.?
Traditional readings by the outstanding eighth grade boy and girls were “The Gettysburg Address” by Isaac Gordner, son of Brooke and Roy Gordner, and, “In Flanders Field” by Rebecca Lewis, daughter of Lori and Jay Lewis. Plaques to the students were presented by Mick Maneval and Doris Babb.
- Songs by local vocalists included “God of Our Fathers,” and “In Flanders Field.” Led and accompanied by Joy Barto, they included Lena Carichner, Shelia Clementoni, Irene Colabine, Katha Elser, Francis Frantz, Donna Kiesinger, Lois Lupold, Sandra and Paul Putney, Carol Shetler, Louann Shoup and Tom Smith.
- The Hughesville High School Band provided patriotic music with the gathering ending by the playing of taps by Jacob Reynolds and Dillan Eisenhard. ?
The service and parade is sponsored annually by the Glenn Sharrow American Legion Post #35 in Hughesville.