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Pottsville Honors the Fallen on Memorial Day

Subdued ceremony held on Garfield Square Monday.

The City of Pottsville held a subdued ceremony on its famed Garfield Square Monday morning to honor Memorial Day and the Schuylkill County soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the United States.

The Pledge of Allegiance is recited at the start of Pottsville’s 2023 Memorial Day ceremony on Garfield Square. (Coal Region Canary photos)

About 150 people gathered on the Square to listen to keynote speaker Brigadier Gen. Robert C. Allison Jr., PA Army National Guard (Ret.), and others honor America on Memorial Day.

Pottsville’s ceremony was one of many held across Schuylkill County on Monday to honor fallen soldiers who gave their lives in service over countless generations.

Members of the Pottsville Third Brigade Band perform the National Anthem at the 2023 Memorial Day ceremony in the city.

“Today, we honor our fallen heroes, those brave men and women who possess the pride, courage, and dedication to selflessly serve when called upon,” Allison said in addressing those attending Monday’s ceremony. “They ask for little but they inspire so much.

“Through their selfless service, they embody the ideals upon which our country is founded,” Allison added.

Mayor Dave Clews delivers opening remarks at the Pottsville Memorial Day ceremony on Garfield Square.

Allison said Memorial Day is a way to link those who served and sacrificed in the past to those who serve today. He also said the holiday remembrance is a way to connect all Americans.

During his remarks, Allison remembered two of the most recent Schuylkill County soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the United States: US Army Capt. David A. Boris, of Pottsville, who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2007, and US Army Capt. Jason B. Jones, of Orwigsburg, who died in combat in 2014, also in Afghanistan.

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City Councilman William Messaros emceed the 2023 Memorial Day ceremony in Pottsville.

“We honor the past, embrace the present, and look forward to the future with renewed sense of duty and purpose,” Allison said.

During Monday’s ceremony, emceed by Pottsville City Councilman William Messaros, the Pottsville Third Brigade Band performed the National Anthem, “This is My Country” and one of its buglers played Taps.

A rifle salute is performed prior to the laying of a wreath at the foot of the monuments honoring soldiers on Pottsville’s Garfield Square.

Allison and Messaros placed a wreath upon the historic monuments at Garfield Square just after members of the city’s veterans organizations performed a rifle salute.

Messaros and Allison lay a wreath at the Garfield Square monuments.

An invocation was read by Rev. Philip F. Rodgers, of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Pottsville and remarks and a welcome were given by city Mayor Dave Clews.

Nativity BVM High School student Billy Burke read the poem “In Flanders Fields” and Pottsville Area High School student Zoey Holden read The Gettysburg Address.

To conclude the ceremony on Monday, the names of Pottsville soldiers adorning its Hometown Heroes banners across the city were read aloud by Winter Carnival Royalty, Queen of Snows Hannah Leskin, Snowflake Princess Brenna McGowan, and Snowdrop Princess Danica Frederick.

The crowd gathered on Pottsville’s Garfield Square to watch the 2023 Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 29.

Frederick performed “God Bless America” before Pastor John Wallace, of First United Methodist Church in Pottsville, closed the Memorial Day ceremony with a benediction.

Top photo: Brigadier Gen. Robert C. Allison Jr., PA Army National Guard (Ret.), delivers the keynote address during Pottsville’s Memorial Day Ceremony.

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