The dedication ceremony for the Bridgeville American Legion Post 54 Memorial Stone at the Alleghenies National Cemetery brought back memories for Bob Milliken.
“Many years ago when this happened here I was working for an asphalt company in Bridgeville, TA Robinson,” the post commander said. “There were only a few stones here, and we paved all these roads. As you stand here today and see all that is here before us, I am in awe. I’m really at a loss for words.
Since opening in 2008, the 292-acre cemetery in Cecil Township has served as the final resting place for members of the United States Armed Forces, and the Bridgeville Legionnaires are proud to have added a marker honoring Post 54 inscribed with the words “All gave some… some gave all” plus the emblems of all branches of the military.
On June 4, members of the post joined local officials and well-wishers to officially welcome the memorial. Among the morning speakers was Bridgeville Mayor Betty Copeland.
“I am grateful for the vision our American Legion members had, to have this memorial stone here to represent Bridgeville and those who gave their lives so that we can be here today in peace,” he said. she stated. “God bless us all, and please remember these few words: Do your duty in the best way; leave the rest to the Lord.
Reverend Dennis Yurochko, pastor of the Bridgeville-based Corpus Christi Parish, offered opening and closing prayers, and the vocal trio Voices for Christ – Jonathan McMiller, Rick Young and William D. Hawkins III – provided a musical accompaniment, beginning with an a cappella version of the patriotic anthem “America”.
“We would like to dedicate this next song to all of the families of fallen soldiers, those who serve and those who have served, for making yourself available to you for us to have and enjoy the freedom we have today” , Young said before the singers launched into a version of “I’m Available to You” by the Reverend Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers.
Tony Vercek and his son TJ added an extra touch of solemnity with a bugle performance of “Taps,” and State Senator Devlin Robinson, a Bridgeville resident, spoke about the importance of stone markers in cemeteries.
“Why do we choose stones? I guess we all wish our lives and the deeds we do on earth could have permanence,” he said. “Although we look at these beautiful stones and markers, each stone is a marker for the body that lies below.
“It’s also a marker of what they’ve done in life. They were able to get their date of birth and date of death. There was just this little dash in between that was supposed to represent our lives.
Those who died at the Alleghenies National Cemetery receive additional recognition.
“Look. You’ll see WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, Iraq, Afghanistan, and some of them even go deeper: Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Silver Star,” Robinson said. “These markers that come up from the earth don’t just mark bodies. They mark souls, which we did on earth.
Harry Funk is a news editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Harry at [email protected].