Cheltenham Township and American Legion Post #497, in recognition of the brave men and women in the community and around the world who answered our country’s call in its time of need, will pay tribute to these heroes with a special Memorial Day ceremony on May 27, 2013. A brief service will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the historic cemetery behind the Shovel Works Building (located at 300 Ashbourne Rd) which will include a 21-gun salute and Taps. Then, following a short walk to the War Memorial (at Central and Tookany Creek Parkway), a roll call of Cheltenham veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country will be held. At the conclusion of the roll call, an official field dedication will be held by Cheltenham Township at the site currently known as Griffin Field. In honor of area veterans, the Township will unveil its new name, Veterans Memorial Fields.
The field dedication, held on such a significant day, marks a new collaboration between the Township and the veterans who have served the country. “I am thrilled that we have fields which can be named for our veterans, and am delighted to see a relationship being fostered between our township and our esteemed veterans,” stressed Commissioner Charles McKeown, Sr.
A Fitting Tribute
According to Tom Walsh, Post Adjutant, other American Legion posts and VFW Posts are expected at the event, and all citizens are welcome to attend. “I look at an event like this as part of American heritage. It is important to take the time to remember people who sacrificed to protect our country,” said Walsh. “The service, roll call and dedication of the fields are wonderful ways to do this.”
The Significance of Memorial Day
General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, officially proclaimed Memorial Day on May 5, 1868. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
To help reeducate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, Congress passed a National Moment of Remembrance resolution in 2000. Each Memorial Day, Americans are asked “to voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence, or listening to Taps.” This is one day out of the year for the nation to gather to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all, in service to their country.
Plan to Attend
The community is encouraged to attend this very special event and fields dedication, which begins at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 27, at Gospel of Grace Cemetery (300 Ashbourne Rd, Cheltenham, PA 19012, behind the Shovel Shop) and progresses on foot to Tookany Creek Parkway, near the Central Avenue intersection.