Delaware County Memorial Day Events for 2017

Lansdowne Remembers: A Personal Story of Remembrance from Ryan Berley 
Greetings Friends,

I'd like to relate a personal story that touched me on this Memorial Day, 2017 - 100 years just after the US entered the 'War to end all Wars.'

An old friend of mine from Freeman's, Jim Buckley, passed away last year.  Jim came to a couple of parties we gave wearing a World War One officer's uniform that he obtained when Freeman's auctioned the estate of the Harbison Dairy family in Philadelphia.  Not only was Harbison in the milk business, they were in the ice cream business, making and selling all over Philadelphia. The uniform and story fit Jim perfectly.  After his death, Jim's widow Sheila contacted me and asked if I'd like the uniform.  So a few weeks ago, Lizzie and I went up to Chestnut Hill for a nice evening and returned with Capt. Harbison's tunic, jodhpurs, Sam Browne belt, insignia and even his eyeglasses.  As it turns out, Jim and I were the same build and the uniform fit me perfectly too.

At a Neighbors Club dinner last week, some members of the local American Legion Post 65 approached me and asked if I would march with them in the Memorial Day parade, an honor that I accepted.  I thought it would be appropriate to wear the Captain's uniform in honor of my late friend Jim as well as the veterans.  So early this morning, I convened with the men of the Albert Wunderlich

American Legion Post 65 and marched alongside their truck, holding the sons-in-service flag from St. John's Episcopal Church in Lansdowne. The flag has three gold stars signifying the men from that congregation who were killed in France, with all of the blue stars representing Lansdowne men who served in WWI from St. John's. (pics attached) The flag is a poignant reminder of just how many lives wars touch, just from one church.
Albert Clinton Wunderlich
in the uniform worn by Ryan
Berley during the Lansdowne
Memorial Day Celebration

We marched past the Lansdowne Presbyterian Church behind my home, with its glorious WWI
stained glass windows honoring Albert Wunderlich and others from Lansdowne who lost their lives during the Great War.  And as we approached the war memorials, I was handed a program honoring Lt. Albert Clinton Wunderlich, namesake of the local Legion chapter, Lansdowne man, 22, who was killed in France on September 28, 1918.  As I read the program, I learned Wunderlich served with the 79th (Croix de Lorriane) Division in the 316th Infantry, Company L and was killed at Montfaucon in one of the final Allied offensives of the war.  The church bell tolled eleven times for the eleventh hour.

I was astounded.  The uniform I was wearing was for a Capt. Harbison of the 316th Infantry, 79th Division - the very same regiment of Lieutenant Wunderlich!  These men certainly would have known one another as officers in the same unit.  As the ceremonies progresses, I felt a kinship with all of these men, my heart crying with joy and loss.  There was a giant flag folding ceremony with veterans and local residents on the football field, with the Mayor placing the flag at the foot of the WWII monument.  The final event, a distribution of poppies at the Lansdowne World War One Memorial (designed by Clarence Brazer, architect of my home) was a touching tribute to Lieutenant Wunderlich and all of the men and women from Lansdowne who saw military service.

I feel privileged to honor our servicemen and women on this solemn Memorial Day and will wear a poppy in their honor.  I hope that you will too.

Ryan Berley,

Co-owner, The Franklin Fountain & Shane Confectionery

Radnor Remembers with a Parade and a Tribute
Celebrations began on a cold, rainy morning on Monday at 9:45 a.m. Crowds formed quickly with former ABC morning weather man Dave Frankel as MC. A Radnor cycle brigade headed parade that included antique and custom cars, bands, fire engines and veterans of World War I, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War. 

The parade terminated at the War Memorial on South Wayne Avenue where ceremonies were held under tents. The Memorial, originally built to remember those who died from Radnor in World War One, was surrounded by lavendar, fitting that many of those who served in the Great War would have seen fields of lavendar in France in the spring of 1917.

Brookhaven Remembers the 100th Anniversary of America’s Entry into World War One
The borough held its Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 27, outside of the municipal building, 2 Cambridge Drive. Before the ceremony, the St. James Alumni Choir sang patriotic songs at 9:45, followed by a call to attention by Councilwoman Denise Leslie.

The ceremony began with invocation by Pastor Ben Grenier of Full Gospel Assembly, the national anthem performed by Lynn Stauffer on trumpet, Pledge of Allegiance by Councilwoman Leslie, and a POW/MIA remembrance by American Legion Post 94 Adjutant Tom Foster and hymn by the St. James Choir.

Post 94 Commander Harry Seth served as master of ceremonies for a program featuring: Remarks by Mayor Mike Hess and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Todd Zachary; wreath laying ceremony by Boy Scouts with a rifle salute by Sun Valley HS JROTC cadets, and unveiling of a World War I memorial stone by Mary Beth Davis, granddaughter of WWI veteran Antonio DeSanchs. The community  participated in the  ceremonial folding of the Saving Hallowed Ground  WW1  Centennial  20 x 30' American flag Following the closing of the ceremony, there was a flag burning of retired American flags and refreshments in the community room

Yeadon Remembered

On Saturday 27 May 2017 in cooperation with the Veterans Administration, the Borough of Yeadon held a Memorial Day weekend observance of the Centennial of World War One at the VA owned and operated Naval Asylum Burial Ground in Yeadon, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The solemn observance was planned by Patrick Trio, member of the World War One Delco Centennial Committee.

Destination Delco Partners with the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial and its Memorial Day Celebration

648 Americanf lags were placed at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Monday, May 29, 2017, in remembrance of the 648 soldiers from Philadelphia who died during the conflict that lasted 25 years.

Philadelphia County has partnered with the World War One Delco Centennial Committee by planting poppies at their site. In addition, the LaSalle College High School distributed Delco’s commemorative poppy seed packets to attendees of the Memorial’s remembrance  and the partnership between the two Counties was announced during the ceremony.