9:00 a.m., Saturday, April 8th, 2017 Delaware County Council Resolution Ceremony for World War One Remembrance Program

The Delaware County Council resolution recognizes the outstanding efforts of the World War One Delco Centennial Committee (specifically Barbara and Anthony Selletti) at a ceremony scheduled for 9:00 a.m. in Court Room One of the Delaware County Courthouse in Media.

The mission of the Committee is to commemorate the men and women in civilian and military roles from Delaware County during the Great War, and the institutions and communities that supported them. The purpose of the Committee is also to discover, record and publish the names and accomplishments of as many of those patriots as possible for libraries, local, state and national.

At the end of World War One, a template was created to memorialize the service and accomplishments of military and civilian men and women who served. Unfortunately, the promise was left unfilled, and the Committee believed it was its responsibility approaching the Centennial of the Great War, to complete the task that was left undone 100 years ago.

The events planned for the Centennial including tours, lectures, poppy plantings and documentary series are to create public awareness of those great deeds and sacrifices of our Delaware County ancestry.


Ceremony Agenda*

  •  Post Colors - Vietnam Veterans Chapter 67
  •  “The National Anthem” (performed by vocalist provided by the Media Theatre)
  • Invocation by Pastor Ben Granier of the Full Gospel Assembly of Brookhaven
  • Retire Colors -  Opening Remarks and Introduction by Tore Fiore - Executive Director of the  Destination Delco Tourism Bureau
  • Barbara & Anthony Selletti - speak about the mission, the events planned, and the war efforts of Delco WW1 patriots.
  • County Council - Opening remarks and reading and presentation of Resolution  
  • George Rothacker - speaks about the Poppy Program and events surrounding the program
  • Colonel Michael Rounds of Williamson College of the Trades  reads the poem “Flanders Field”
  • “God Bless America”  (performed by vocalist provided by the   Media Theatre)
  • Benediction by Pastor Ben Granier 
 * The agenda is subject to change without notice.

All are welcome to the ceremony. Free Poppy Seed Packets and Growing Instructions will be provided for those wishing to participate in the program to “Paint Delco Red with Poppies” this summer.

Later in the day, a preview of the series produced by the Selletti's “Memories of the Great War” will be shown at two performances at Vinyl Revival which is adjacent to the historic Lansdowne Theatre.
Click here for more a preview and more information.

Poppy Planting in Remembrance of Those Who Gave So Much....

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
From the Poem “Flanders Field”

The poem  “Flanders Field,” written in 1915 by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrea, was inspired by the death of a friend who died in the Great War, the poem “Flanders Field” quickly became an anthem for propaganda efforts, recruitment and the selling of war bonds during World War 1.

The poem and its image of the “red” poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers became one of the most recognizable memorial symbols of soldiers who have died in combat.

In conjunction with the event, packets of red poppy seeds provided FREE by the Destination Delco Tourist Bureau, will be distributed to homes, historic properties and gardens throughout Delaware County for planting in early spring for a summer and late-summer bloom. 

Some garden centers will be carrying "red" poppy plants suitable for small gardens. We will be providing a list of those gardens for your convenience:

So far, we know that Linvilla and Wolff's both WILL be carrying poppy plants in April and may.

Poppy Seed Packets and support material will arrive the week the week of February 19th. We will be distributing from various locations including:

Destination Delco Tourist Bureau
1501 N. Providence Road
Media, PA 19063                      610-565-3679

Master Gardeners of Delaware County
Penn State Extension Offices
20 Paper Mill Road
Springfield, PA 19064              610-690-2655

Aston Library
3270 Concord Rd.
Aston, PA                                  610-494-5877 

Haverford Library
1601 Darby Rd. 
Havertown, PA 19083              610) 446-3082  
(as of March 9) 

Newtown Library
201 Bishop Hollow Rd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073   610-353-1022

Primos Library
409 Ashland Ave.
Secane, PA 19018                    610-622-8091

Upper Darby Libraries 
Sellers Branch | 76 South State Road | Upper Darby , PA 19082
Municipal Branch | 501 Bywood Ave. | Upper Darby , PA 19082
Primos Branch | 409 Ashland Ave. | Primos , PA 19018

Yeadon Library
Longacre Blvd & Arbor Rd.
Yeadon, PA 19050                   610-623-4090

Clarion Philadelphia Airport Hotel
76 Industrial Hwy, Route 291, Essington, PA 19029
844-433-0851   (As of March 7)

Wolff’s Apple House & Garden Center
81 S Pennell Rd, Media, PA 19063
610) 566-1680  (As of March 6) 

Linvilla Orchards
137 Knowlton Rd., Media, PA 19063
(610) 876-7116

Radnor Hotel
591 E. Lancaster Ave., St. Davids 19087

Wayne Hotel
 139 E Lancaster Ave., Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 687-5000

Please check back for more locations.

Note: You may request multiple packets or contact Destination Delco for bulk seeds for larger gardens: 610-565-3679 

Click here for poppy projects, growing instructions and gardens planning for a summer bloom of poppies.



 ...from Second Meeting of Delaware County's  World War I Remembrance Committee
FRONT ROW (left to right): Harry Smeck, Beverly Barnes- Delaware County Planning Commission, Elizabeth MacGuire – Collingdale Historical Society, Barb Selletti – WWI Centennial Committee, Tony Selletti – PA WWI Centennial Committee, Tore Fiore – Destination Delco, Ryan Berley – Rose Valley Museum & Hist. Society, Judy Reese (& Shakespeare) – Chichester Hist. Society SECOND ROW (left to right): Herberta Kerestus –Eddystone Historic Society, Sharon Martin, Eddystone Historic Society, Claire Wilson, Eddystone Historic Society, Kellie Walters, Eddystone Historic Society, Beth Gross – Eddystone Council, Mark Anderson – Saving Hallowed Ground, Pat Gallagher- Collingdale Historical Society, Bill Lovejoy – DelCo Veterans’ Affairs, Brian Dillon – DelCo Library System, Neal Pizzano – Knights of Columbus # 913,Jack Cruice, Jr - Knights of Columbus CDA #913 Bill Smeck – American Legion, Springfield,Harry Seth – American Legion, Springfield, Helen Litwa – Chester Historical Society, Rich Paul – DelCo Heritage Commission, Doris Vermeychuk – Elwyn-Davidson School BACK ROW right side, left to right) Brad Busch, Unit Commander, Co. L 109th Infantry, 28th Division P.N.G. (re-enactors), Kurt Sellers – American Legion, Springfield, Richard Smalley- American Legion Post #68, (NOT SHOWN) George H. Rothacker, photographer, Rothacker Advertising & Design) Please forgive any errors in placement, name spellings or those missing. Please call to inform George at 610-566-0334.
On Saturday, February 25th, members of several Delaware County organizations met to implement plans for events marking the Centennial of the US involvement in World War 1. Events will begin on Saturday, April 8, 2017 (two days after the official anniversary) with an official ceremony that will include members of VFW posts and color guards, salute to the flag, reading of the poem Flanders Field written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae and the presentation of  the proclamation by County Council on the steps of the County Courthouse in Media.

Poppy seed packets, growing instruction, and anniversary pins and support will be distributed at this time, officially kicking off the “Paint Delaware County Red” program instituted by the Delaware County Tourist Bureau and County Council in remembrance of all those who served in the Great War from Delaware County. Poppy seeds will also be distributed from Delco libraries, the Tourist Bureau headquarters in Rose Tree Park, and other locations Click here for a current list of locations. Delaware County is hoping to have it's fields and gardens doted with red Flanders” poppies this summer.
Starting of Delco Remembrances is a “World War I and America Reading and Discussion Group” with upcoming meetings at the Haverford Library on Darby Road in Havertown on March 26 and April 23rd at 2:00 pm. The discussions will be moderated by Historian Katie Sibley and  English Professor and Veteran Owen Gilman on various topics concerning the Great War. The Library will also "remember" at ”Memorabilia Night” at 7:00 on Wednesday, April 12 at &:00 pm. Community members and organizations are invited to bring and share their World War I attic finds. Click here for more information.

Memorial at the Chester Rural
Cemetery for victims of
the Eddystone Munitions
Disaster in 1917
Poster to be on display
at the Lansdowne Theater.
Coinciding with the proclamation reading in Media on April 8th, there will be public preview showings of the short film, “Memories of the Great War” at Vinyl Revival adjacent to the historic Lansdowne Theater at 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. Inside the Lansdowne Theater Lobby will be a replica of a World War 1 Salvation Army Soldiers Aid Station with living historians dressed in authentic reproduction garments. Poppy seed packets will be distributed at the Destination Delco booth for sowing in early May. Authentic Salvation Army Donuts, coffee tea and lemonade will be served until the event’s end at 3 p.m. Click here for more information.

Also on Saturday, April 8th at 2:00 will be a Remembrance Service at the Chester Rural Cemetery for those who died in the explosion at the Eddystone Munitions plant on April 10, 1917 (Click here for the complete story). For information contact Beth Gross 484-432-7806, or BethAGross144@gmail.com

Following up the “remembrances” in April will be a lecture by James C. Thompson on “World War One in the Golden Age of Illustration” to be held at 2:00 on April 30 at the NEW Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge.” (Click here for more information.)

Cover of James C. Thompson's book on
American Illustration

For those interested in becoming part of “Remembering the Forgotten Generation in Delco,” please join us at the Aston Community Center on Saturday March 25th 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Click here for instructions of the location of the Community Center.

Screening of "Memories of the Great War ” - April 8, 2017

Stories of the Great War from four inspirational people from our area. Doors open at the lobby of the Lansdowne Theater at 11:30 in the Vinyl Revival screening room adjacent to the theater.

There will be three showings of the series “Memories of the Great War”.
11:45 a.m.
12:45 p.m.
1:45 p.m.

Inside the Lansdowne Theater Lobby will be a replica of a World War 1 Salvation Army Soldiers Aid Station with living historians dressed in authentic reproduction garments. Poppy seed packets will be given out by Destination Delco for sowing in early May. Authentic Salvation Army Donuts, coffee tea and lemonade will be served until the event's end at 3 p.m.

We Remember.....

1917 the Eddystone Ammunition Plant, located outside of Chester, Delaware County, was one of the busiest munitions factories in the country, piercing fuses and filling shells with gunpowder for the Russian White Army. On Monday, April 10th at about 9:55 a.m., just four days after America entered World War I, “F” Building of the plant was torn apart by a trio of explosions. One hundred and thirty-three persons, mostly girls, lost their lives in the explosion (click here for the full story).

On Saturday, April 8th at 2:00 p.m. the Eddystone Boro will be honoring the lives of those who died at the monument marking the mass grave erected 100 years ago.

For information contact Beth Gross

World War One in the Golden Age of Illustration

a lecture by James C. Thompson

April 30, 2017
2:00 pm
Rose Valley Museum at Thunderbird Lodge
41 Rose Valley Rd. Rose Valley, PA 19063


James C. Thompson is the author of two recent books on American illustrators and their art:
Painting America’s Portrait – How Illustrators Created America is the second book in the “Painting America’s Portrait” series. In the first, James Thompson uses over 300 illustrations to show how America’s artist admen and storytellers capitalized on three decades of advances in corporate advertising and image reproduction technology to create highly dramatic and colorful images. Their business during these notorious decades was to sell products with pictures. By 1914, they were better and more successful than ever. Their success notwithstanding their Golden Age ended with the Great War. Mr. Thompson begins his sequel with an account of the war prior to America’s entry in April 1917. Among the first acts of America’s wartime President was to create a “Committee of Public Information” to manage public opinion and build public support for the nation’s new mission. The committee’s chairman, George Creel, recruited the most celebrated illustrator of the day, Charles Dana Gibson, to draw his colleagues into the enterprise. With Gibson’s help, hundreds of illustrators became producers of “propaganda art.”

For more information on the book, click here.

April 8, 2017: Delaware County Council To Issue a Proclamation

The American Entry into World War One came about on April 6, 1917, after two and a half years of efforts by President Woodrow Wilson to keep the United States neutral during the war. At first and for the most part public opinion went along with neutrality, even though even before World War I broke out American opinion toward Germany was already more negative than it was toward any other country in Europe.The citizenry increasingly came to see the German Empire as the villain after news
JONATHAN: You want the freedom of the seas?
Guess that's just what I am wanting.
of atrocities in Belgium in 1914, and the sinking of the passenger liner RMS Lusitania in May 1915. Wilson made all the key decisions and kept the economy on a peacetime basis, while allowing banks to make large-scale loans to Britain and France. To preclude making any military threat President Wilson made only minimal preparations for war and kept the United States Army on its small peacetime basis.

In early 1917, Germany decided to resume all-out submarine warfare on every commercial ship headed toward Britain, realizing that this decision would almost certainly mean war with the United States. Germany also offered to help Mexico regain territories lost in the Mexican–American War. Publication of that offer outraged Americans just as German U-boats started sinking American ships in the North Atlantic. Wilson asked Congress for “a war to end all wars” that would “make the world safe for democracy,” and Congress voted to declare war on Germany on April 6, 1917.

On Saturday, April 8, 2017, Delaware County Council will issue a proclamation remembering those lost in World War One, and those who served throughout Delaware County in many capacities including members of the Armed Forces, doctors, nurses, families at home and others who assisted the effort during the conflict.

Constructed in 1927, the Lansdowne Theater was designed in popular
Moorish style to accommodate 1358 seats.The theater was closed in the 1980s
but the building was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1987.
The Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation purchased the building
in 2007 using a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and
Economic Development. Efforts have continued since then to restore the theater
and use it as a catalyst tor evitalize the Landowne Business District,
Following the ceremony, the World War 1 film series, "Memories of the Great War" at Vinyl Revival, with a WW1 themed reception at the adjacent to Historic Lansdowne Theater.

Please mark this website for updates to the events and programs planned throughout 2017 and 2018.

Autumn of 1918: Re-dedication of Panels Honoring The Memory of Those Who Served in World War 1

The original memorial panels for those in Delaware County
original were located on this arch that spanned Baltimore
Pike near Media.

In the 1920s, Delaware County officials spoke of the memorial erected over Baltimore Pike in Springfield to honor local veterans as a tribute that would last forever.

Made of reinforced concrete to resemble Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, it stood on over a bridge on Baltimore Pike spanning Crum Creek. The structure was dedicated before an estimated 5,000 spectators by William I. Schaffer, a justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, who anticipated that its longevity would equal that of the Pyramids, the Acropolis and the monuments of Rome. The two bronze tablets displayed the names of 280 men and women killed in the Great War.

Then, in 1958, engineers needed to widen the bridge, and the arch was chiseled to rubble, and the tablets were remounted on concrete slabs a few hundred feet west of the original site. In 1988, the panels and the slabs they were mounted on were found to be in the path of the Blue Route construction, so the panels were placed in storage. World War 1 vets favored the Courthouse lawn; officials responded with the entrance to Smedley Park, not far from their original location.

In 1993 a plaque was presented by the Delaware County Veterans Council on the monument that
today stands to the left of the entrance to the Park. In addition to the names of honorees, there are two panels that provide some history of the Memorial:

“The people of Delaware County proud of her historic past and of her record of loyal service to the
commonwealth and the republic, mindful of the blessings of liberty and grateful to mall who have contributed to its attainment and its defense, have erected this memorial to their fellow citizens who answered the nation's call to arms in the World War. While no monument however nobly conceived or elaborately wrought, could enhance the honor and glory of those who gave their lives that American ideals might survive, their names have been reverently placed here that the living may gain patriotic inspiration from their hallowed memory.”

On the adjacent panel is inscribed:

The Memorial Bridge

“Dedicated to the men and women of Delaware County who served in the World War, and bearing the names of those who sacrificed their lives in the great conflict, was undertaken by the County Commissioners with the cooperation of the State Highway Department under Governor William Cameron Sproul and Highway Commissioners Lewis Strerrett Sadler and George H. Biles, with the interest offend approval of President
Judge Isaac Johnson and Judge William Booth Broomall. The work was carried on by county commissioners James M. Hamilton, Thomas F. Feeley, Robert J. Burley and Harry M. Birney, Jr. and completed in 1924. Orion Davis and George T. Wadas were County Controllers during the construction. The bridge was designed by R. J. Aydlotte, County Engineer, and Clarence W. Brazer was architect of the memorial. Seeds and Derham were the contractors.”

Please refer to this site for updates on the ceremony planned at Smedley Park honoring ALL who served.