Coaldale Honors Military Heroes In Ceremonies

Coaldale Honors Military Heroes In Ceremonies

May 24, 1993 by CHRISTINA M. PARKER, Special to The Morning Call

Coaldale yesterday honored its military sons and daughters with a solemn ceremony at the war memorial along Route 209 in Seek.

Another similar observance took place at Borough Hall later in the afternoon.

Those attending the commemorations also bowed their heads in a moment of silent prayer for two Marian High School seniors, Tracy McEmoyle and Lawrence Sabol, who died in an automobile accident last month.

The war memorial, a gray granite pillar bearing more than 100 names of Coaldale residents who served in the armed forces, stood as a somber reflection of Mayor John Radocha's words.

"Many sacrifices were made by these valiant men and women, on our behalf, in order that our rights to freedom would be guaranteed," Radocha said.

"Our world today is in a state of complex change, and we can well be thankful for our military forces to cope with these changes," he said.

Radocha's words were followed by a talk by American Legion Commander James Arner, who reminded those attending that "Coaldale, when asked, always answered the call to service."

Arner, who served 20 years in the Air Force, told children watching the ceremony that he hoped they would never have to experience war.

Following a roll call of Coaldale residents who died in action and a playing of taps, the Panther Valley Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps rifle squad fired a salute.

Three young residents gave readings of famous patriotic speeches. Kelly Moyer recited "Logan's General Order," Nicholas Cannuli recited "In Flander's Fields," and Steve Cannuli recited "The Gettysburg Address."

The Panther Valley High School Band provided patriotic music, and a color guard formed by the Coaldale American Legion and the VFW Post presented the flag.

Master of Ceremonies John "Jack" Barron asked those attending the commemoration to join him in reading aloud a poem by an unknown author.

" ... Tenderly strew fragrant flowers, in the shining morning hours. Over those who, laid to rest, nobly gave us all their best ... "

Prior to the memorial ceremony in Seek, officials dedicated a flagpole donated by local veterans groups.