Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
PRESS PHOTOS BY BERNIE O'HARE Armed Services Park, dedicated three years ago, is located at the intersection of Route 512 and Hanoverville Road. PRESS PHOTOS BY BERNIE O'HARE Armed Services Park, dedicated three years ago, is located at the intersection of Route 512 and Hanoverville Road.
pThe American Legion Honor Guard consists of Steve Matala, Norman Koch, Charles Perna, Gene Ryder, Walter Markotic, Joseph Herkalo, Jim Reese, Mark Hoffman and John McCulloch. pThe American Legion Honor Guard consists of Steve Matala, Norman Koch, Charles Perna, Gene Ryder, Walter Markotic, Joseph Herkalo, Jim Reese, Mark Hoffman and John McCulloch.
The Nitschmann MS Marching band provided musical entertainment. The Nitschmann MS Marching band provided musical entertainment.
Brig. Gen. Stephen G. Ressler spent 34 years in the Army Corps of Engineers and lives in Bethlehem. Brig. Gen. Stephen G. Ressler spent 34 years in the Army Corps of Engineers and lives in Bethlehem.
Supervisors Steve Salvesen, Glenn Walbert, Jack Nagle, Mark Tanczos, John Diacogiannis and Township Manager Jay Finnigan. Supervisors Steve Salvesen, Glenn Walbert, Jack Nagle, Mark Tanczos, John Diacogiannis and Township Manager Jay Finnigan.
Supervisors present wreath in honor of those who have fallen. Supervisors present wreath in honor of those who have fallen.
WWII veteran LeRohn WWII veteran LeRohn "Dan" Dreysher has played "taps" nearly 2,900 times.
State Rep. Marcia Hahn with General Stephen G. Ressler. State Rep. Marcia Hahn with General Stephen G. Ressler.
State Rep. Mario Scavello thanks General Stephen G. Ressler. State Rep. Mario Scavello thanks General Stephen G. Ressler.

Armed Forces Day -Hanover Township: A moral obligation to support those who have served

Thursday, May 22, 2014 by BERNIE O'HARE Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Fewer and fewer municipalities celebrate Armed Forces Day, which honors those serving in all military branches. Hanover Township has been reversing that trend, and with growing crowds. It celebrated its third Annual Armed Forces Day Program May 17 at Armed Services Park before a crowd of over 100 people.

In addition to all Hanover supervisors, the ceremony was attended by state representatives Marcia Hahn and Mario Scavello. The Nitschmann Middle MS Marching Band, which provided musical entertainment, played the national Anthem despite having only one day to practice. The Honor Guard was made up of members of American Legion Post 379, located in Bethlehem.

Keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Stephen J. Ressler (US Army Ret.) spent 34 years in the Army Corps of Engineers before moving to Bethlehem.

"I wish I had known that before we designed this park, " wisecracked Township Manager Jay Finnigan.

Ressler spoke of the wild variations in the way the public perceives the military. Treated with open hostility in the '70s, they became heroes after 9/11. Today, he described the treatment as "benign neglect," and lamented that "my beloved Army" is currently being reduced to its lowest levels since WWII.

He noted this attitude is universal, and quoted Rudyard Kipling's "Tommy," dedicated to the British soldier:

"For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Chuck him out, the brute!'

But it's 'Saviour of 'is country' when the guns begin to shoot."

At a time when some VA administrators are under investigation for hiding waiting lists, Kessler said we have a "moral obligation" to support the men and women who served.

"Hire a vet," he suggested. "Look him in the eye, shake his hand and thank him for his service."