Contact Information 

District Office
1555 Highlands Drive
Suite 110
Lititz, PA 17543
Phone:  (717) 626-1776
FAX:  (717) 626-4234

Capitol Office
51A East Wing
PO Box 202097
Harrisburg PA 17120-2097
Phone: (717) 787-1776

E-Mail:  
smentzer@pahousegop.com

Salute to Veterans – A Decade
5/7/2018
By Rep. Steve Mentzer
President John F. Kennedy once said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”

Veterans who fought on behalf of all Americans and made great sacrifices, did so in order that the nation be preserved and their families and the rest of us remain safe. But they also did so with the stark realization that they may not return.

At the end of the American Civil War, a group of Southern women visited the cemetery in Columbus, Miss., to decorate the graves of the sons and fathers who died serving in the Confederacy.

When they were done, they saw that nearby Union graves were unattended, drab and forgotten. These ladies, who could not bring themselves to ignore the graves of the fallen Northern men, carefully decorated the Union graves until there was nothing to distinguish them from those of the Confederates.

This story, and others like it, inspired Maj. Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic – the Union Army’s veterans’ organization. In 1868, Logan proclaimed May 30 as Decoration Day, a day “for decorating the graves of the comrades who died in defense of their country and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, or hamlet churchyard in the land.” This annual observance became what we now know as Memorial Day –a national day of honor for those who have served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the American ideal for future generations.

Since 1868, Americans have set aside Memorial Day to honor the memory of those in uniform who have given their lives for our country. All across the nation brave men and women — some well-known and some unknown — are honored on this special holiday. Each is a patriot; each is a hero. They defended the future of freedom at places like Bunker Hill and Yorktown, Gettysburg and Antietam, the trenches of France, Guadalcanal and Normandy, the Korean peninsula, Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ten years ago, my predecessor, former state Rep. John Bear, began the tradition of honoring our local veterans by creating an annual “Salute to Veterans” event. When I was sworn into office in 2013, I had many residents, veterans and local officials ask me about the future of this event and whether I would be continuing the tradition of honoring our veterans in this unique way.

Just as Rep. Bear does, I believe our veterans are ever-deserving of our gratitude and support and continued the tradition. Now, a decade later, the event, held in conjunction with “America’s Pastime” – a Lancaster Barnstormers home game – I am excited to announce that together with Rep. Bear, I will be hosting the tenth annual “Salute to Veterans” event this May.

The 2018 “Salute to Veterans” event will take place on Saturday, May 19, at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Each veteran and their guest are invited to a Lancaster Barnstormers baseball game, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Both will receive free admittance to the game and Barnstormer Bucks to spend on refreshments. Beginning at 5:15 p.m., an on-field ceremony will honor veterans, featuring performances by hometown favorites the New Holland Band, the Washington Memorial Pipe Band, the Valley Forge Military Academy Regimental Band, and Bobbi Bear singing the National Anthem. Former WGAL anchor Dick Hoxworth, a Vietnam veteran, will again serve as emcee for the evening’s activities.

On behalf of this year’s sponsors, American Legion Garden Spot Post No. 56, Sechan Electronics, WGAL, Benchmark Construction, Snavely’s Flour Mill, Elks Lodge 134, Mr. John Bear, AAVID Thermacore, Fluid Conditioning Products, Charles F. Snyder Funeral Homes and Crematory, Clair Global, Ultra Electronics, Germania Band Club, Worley and Obetz, and Lititz Springs VFW Post 1463, Again, this year, if you would like to bring canned goods for donation, we will be “filling the boat.” The Navy Club of Lancaster, Ship No.166, will have its PT Boat at the stadium entrance to collect canned goods to donate to veterans in need.

Seating is limited for the event, so reservations are required. To register, please call my district office, anytime between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at (717) 626-1776, or visit my website, RepMentzer.com, and click on the “Salute to Veterans” banner.

I am hopeful that you will be able to join us in celebrating the lives and legacies of those we have lost and all of those who have answered the call to military service.

See you at the ballgame,
Steve
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