Coaldale residents were told yesterday that "Memorial Day is a time for dedication and re-dedication to Americanism."
Lt. Col. Floyd Shafer, commanding officer of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps at Panther Valley High School, was main speaker at the annual Memorial Day service held by the Coaldale United Veterans Organization at the Coaldale Complex.
Residents of the Seek section of the community also held services.
Shafer said the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence were the "first to pay for the freedom and liberty we enjoy."
Shafer said it is important that Americans support efforts to find what has happened to U.S. servicemen who were reported missing in action or prisoners of war.
Melissa O'Connell, a Panther Valley High School student, recited "In Flanders Fields." Lori Weaver, a student at St. Michael's Parochial School, Lansford, recited the Gettysburg Address at the complex service.
James Arner, a past commander of the Coaldale American Legion Post, gave the roll call of 25 deceased veterans. The Rev. Paul Masiar, pastor of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, Coaldale, offered the prayer and benediction.
At both services, a salute honoring the dead was presented by a firing squad from the Pennsylvania National Guard at Tamaqua and the Panther Valley ROTC.
William Evans, commander of the American Legion Post, was master of ceremonies for both services. He presented the roll call of the dead at the Seek service.
School children of the Seek area presented traditional Memorial Day readings. Diahanne Ouly presented "Logan's General Order;" Katie Barnhart read "In Flanders Fields," and Lori Ann Marshall read the Gettysburg Address.
The color guard at both services consisted of members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, both of Coaldale. Coaldale Mayor Theodore Bortnick spoke at both locations.
The Rev. William Edwards of the St. John Primitive Methodist Church, Coaldale, delivered the main address and gave the invocation and benediction at the Seek service.