April 8th Events Benchmark for World War 1 Remembrance in Delaware County

Inaugural Ceremony
Tore Fiore welcoming all to the Inaugural Event of the World War One Delco Commeration Committee at the Honorable John v. Diggs Courtroom #1 at the Delaware County Courthouse
The day began at Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom #1, fittingly named after World War I veteran, the Honorable John V. Diggins, where the World War One in Delco Centennial  Committee was to be publicly recognized for their contribution to the County.

American Legion members Harry Seth and Don Rose
Colors were posted (flags put in place) by Harry Seth and Don Rose of the Brookhaven American Legion Post #94, accompanied by the Knights of Columbus from several communities, in full dress.   Kelly Briggs, a frequent leading performer at the Media Theater, sang the National Anthem..

The invocation was given by Pastor Ben Granier of the Full Gospel Assembly of Brookhaven, after which Destination Delco's Executive Director gave introductions including Judy Reese’s service dog
“Shakepeare,” a Bouvier des Flanders, who represented the World War One dogs who brought supplies to the troops and pulled carts with wounded soldier from the fields to safety during the Great War.

Judy Reese’s service dog “Shakespeare” and Tore Fiore
Founders of the Committee, Barbara and Anthony Selletti were introduced and spoke of the Committee’s mission, “ to honor and remember all of those men and women who gave their time and their lives in the conflict that began in our country and our county 100 years ago on April 6, 1917. Barbara Selletti went on to tell the stories of the men and women who served on the home front, “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless  Wednesdays,”  “Victory Gardens.,” the significant role of the Knights of Columbus, and countless other  civilian sacrifices so that our troops would be well-fed. She went on to tell of the nurses who took care of the wounded and dying on the front lines,  the young women transported to France to assist as ambulance drivers, and the girls who gave their lives overseas during the conflict. (Click here for the complete text of her speech.)
Anthony and Barbara Selletti

Kelly Briggs, who has appeared on Broadway in “Les
Miserables” and “CATS” and also toured with both productions, provided an a cappella interlude of World War One era songs including “Over There” and “It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary”. His performance was followed by remarks about the commemoration and the committee by County Council Chairman Mario J. Civera, Jr.

Kelly Briggs
Council member John McBain then read the Resolution given by Council on March 29th to the Selletti’s and their Committee.

Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Rounds, P.E , president of the Williamson College of the Trades recited a moving rendition of Flanders Fields, a poem written by another Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrea of the Canadian army in 1915 after the death of a friend in Belgium. The poem became an anthem for all of the allied troops and recruiters for service during the War.

Flag Folding Ceremony with flag folded
Committee Member and Marketing Specialist George Rothacker then spoke of the Delco Poppy Program, and of Destination Delco’s  mission to “Paint Delco ‘RED’ with poppies this summer with poppies. “ We are hoping that homes, businesses and institutions plant poppy gardens to show Delco as ‘one community’ dedicated to a common goal of commemorating ALL of the men and women who sacrificed during the Great War.’

Veronica Garubbo
Veronica  Garrubbo, a local teen who has performed at the Media Theatre in the Broadway Series Productions of “13 the Musical,” Aladdin, Jr.,” and  “Snow White,” and is currently featured in “West Side Story” as Clarita, treated everyone to a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America.”

The event inside the Courthouse concluded with a Benediction by Pastor Granier, only to be followed
up by a “Flag Folding Ceremony” on the Courthouse steps orchestrated by the Knights of Columbus.
Flag being rotated by members of the community and the Knights of Columbus.