In Centre County thousands again visiting the village of Boalsburg which claims to be the first community in the country to hold a Memorial Day commemoration
As Gary Sinderson reports organizers say honoring and assisting military personnel remains a community priority.
This past weekend on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg dozens walking for an organization that began 16 years ago when a State College mother of four, met a soldier headed off to war, on a plane flight
“I immediately noticed his hands were a mess.as a mom i noticed that”
The Soldiers Hands Organization was born when Trish Shallenberger sent skin creme to the soldier’s combat unit. Since then,the organizations has distributed close to 30 thousand care packages to military members.
“You know what. I learned through this that we don’t have to have all the answers.we just have to have a serving heart”
A Serving Heart, a familiar theme here. It was this Boaslburg Cemetery in 1864, where three women first decorated the grave sites of locals killed in the Civil War, then and now, a continuing call to service and assistance
“That they see a need and instead of saying wow,or whose going to handle that,much like their counterparts in active service, they say if not me,then who”
Its fitting that a museum dedicated to Pennsylvania military history is located in the home of Memorial Day. The museum grounds donated by the town’s namesake family, before World War One
“Ed Theodore Boal started training people here on these grounds even before the U.S. entered the war. So when they returned after the war,this became an officers club. but it also became a place of commemoration”
So as thousands again enjoy the festivities and events the meaning of the day, not forgotten
“By memorial and honoring our war dead at grave site,it shows the immense value we place on their service, and their service was not in vain”