New Bethlehem’s Memorial Day Weekend Program Announced

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Tentative plans were announced last week for the community’s annual Memorial Day weekend program that focuses on paying tribute to men and women who have lost their lives in military service to the nation.

Ray Ishman, who is chairing the planning committee for the Walter W. Craig Post 354 of the American Legion, said the program will be held on Saturday, May 27, at Gumtown Park. The event is set to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Ishman pointed out that there will not be a parade scheduled with the program this year, as has been the practice in many past years. A parade honoring veterans, living and deceased, is being planned for Veterans Day weekend in November.

Ishman said, “Memorial Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives while serving during wartime. It is a solemn day, one to honor our fallen comrades, and we wish to keep that in focus at this historic period of the year.”

The program is scheduled to include musical presentations by the Redbank Valley High School band, under the direction of Eli Terwilliger, a featured speaker; commentary on the significance of the holiday throughout the nation’s history starting in the wake of the Civil War; and the particular milestone of 2017, which marks the centennial anniversary of the United States entrance into World War I—labeled at the time as the “war to end all wars.”

Ishman added, “Too, we are nearing a significant anniversary of the formation of the local American Legion post, which was named in honor of the first area soldier who was killed in France during what was later called World War I. That soldier — Army Lieutenant Walter W
. Craig — was killed in action in October 1918, the second year of U.S. involvement in the war. The following year the national American Legion, as well as the local post, were formed and have continued to represent our nation’s military service personnel since that date.

Ishman said the final arrangements for the event will be announced shortly.

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