10th Anniversary

 

Honoring And Remembering

Project Welcome Home Logo - Large

America's Veterans
&
Fallen Heroes

 

On November 10, 2007, Project Welcome Home commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Lebanon County Vietnam Veterans Memorial with an elaborate rededication event.

 

MC Chuck LAneThe event began with opening remarks and introductions of dignitaries, guests and speakers by master of ceremonies, and committee chairman, Chuck Lane.

 

Color GuardThe National and State Colors were posted by the 28th Division Finance Company Color Guard. The Service Colors and POW/MIA flags were introduced and posted by veterans: Army - Chris Keiser II; Marine Corps - John Gingrich; Navy - Scott Guilory; Air Force - Heather Keiser; Coast Guard - Sylvester Erhart; POW/MIA - Nick Powers.

28th Finance Company     Service Honor Guard


Our Chaplain for the day, giving the Invocation and Benediction, was Major Max W. Furman, Sr. of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Fort Indiantown Gap.

The first guest speaker of the day was former Lebanon City mayor, Betty Eiceman. In office from 1988 to 2000, Betty was instrumental in the construction and dedication of the memorial.

 

Vietnam Veterans Salute CeremonyProbably the most defining point of the event was the Vietnam Veterans Salute ceremony, and the presentation and raising of two new flags at the memorial. Speaker Chris KeiserAfter a brief speach by Chris Keiser, the Vietnam Veterans of America flag and the Vietnam Insignia flag were presented to Lieutenant Sandy Jones. The flags Flag Presentation 1were then in turn presented to Vietnam veterans Randy Dippary and Andy Erhart. As a recording of "Some Gave All" was being played, Mr. Dippary and Mr. Erhart attached and raise the two new flags.This would be the decisive moment of the rededication.

Flag Presentation 2     Flags 1   Dedication Salute   Flags 2

 

POW Table CeremonyOne of the most horrifying facts of war is not knowing, where loved ones are, if their coming home, whether their dead or alive. POW-MIA TableThe POW Table ceremony honored and paid tribute to those who never made it home and are still unaccounted for, not just of the Vietnam War, but of all wars. Narrated and presented by Kathi Logan and Evelyn Lane, a symbology was given for each item on the table.

 

Wall Of BannersThe Wall of Banners was created not to glorify but to symbolize America's wars and conflicts. Procession Of BannersThe wall of sixteen banners was constructed by a processional of individuals some of which were dressed in authentic reenactment costumes. Note the inclusion of the Confederacy of the Civil War and the Native Americans of the American Indian Wars, for they too are Americans.

 

Battlefield CrossThe Battlefield Cross, or Soldier's Cross, is believed to have been used first during the Civil War.  Battlefield Cross 1Before the Civil War, most soldiers who died in combat were interred at, or near, the battlefield where they fell.  During the Civil War, both sides felt the need to return as many of the dead as possible, home for burial.  Battlefield Cross 2This required some way to discern between the Yankees and the Confederates.  Battlefield Cross 3The act of placing the dead soldier’s cap atop his upturned rifle came into use. This practice evolved into what we know it as today. Battlefield Cross 4Traditionally, the monument is preset for this ceremony, but we decided a greater impact would be felt by assembling the monument one piece at a time. Set to the song "Find The Cost of Freedom" the Cross was assembled by Chris Keiser II, Andy Erhart and Heather Keiser.

Battlefield Cross 5

 

CSM Donald ShinerOur keynote speaker of the day was Command Sergeant Major Donald Shiner, a resident of Lebanon. He was in charge and oversaw all military operations of the Pennsylvania National Guard at Fort Indiantown Gap. Major Shiner gave a compelling twelve minute speach on the values of a soldier and his sacrifices, the unmentioned civilians who perished among the battles, and the pride of a community. He also spoke on the pride of a great nation and the need to remember and honor those who gave so much for freedom.

 

Turtle Island DrumThe Native American Nations were not exempt from America's conflicts, and were justly so a vital inclusion of the original dedication of this memorial in 1997 as a Native American Medicine Wheel was placed around the memorial. Crossing Over CeremonyThe Medicine Wheel was reaffirmed by Native American "grandfather" Daryl Dietrich, a Korean War veteran. A Crossing-Over ceremony was then performed by the Turtle Island Drum.

 

Paul KlineThe Wreath Laying ceremony was accompanied by a rendition of "Amazing Grace" played on a Native American flute by Paul Kline. A wreath was layed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Vietnam veteran, Andy Erhart, and his wife Sandy. Another wreath was layed at the Wall of Banners by Dan and Caroline Keiser.

Wreath Laying 1     Wreath Laying 2

 

VFW Post 23 Honor GuardThe event concluded with a traditional 21-gun Salute and the playing of Taps by the Lebanon VFW Post 23 Honor Guard. Chuck Lane gave closing remarks, followed by the Benediction given by Major Max Furman, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the retrieval of Colors, which was accompanied by the playing of "America The Beautiful".

 

28th Division Military BandNearly every individual ceremony of the event was presented with musical accompaniment. With the exception of two recorded songs and the rendition of"Amazing Grace", all music was performed by a five piece ensemble of the 28th Division Military Band.

 

We attempted to incorporate several of the wars' reenactment groups with the hope of displaying the clothing worn at the time. Please enjoy these photos of what we were able to accomplish.

Reenactment 3    Reenactment 2   Reenactment 1   Reenactment 4


Poor Is The Nation Which Has No Heroes
Shameful Is The Nation Which Has Them And Forgets