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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Post 311, honoring vets, gives thanks to God

  • Words of valor, courage and sacrifice were shared at the traditional Veteran's Day observance held at 11 a.m. Monday and hosted by Hawley American Legion Wilson-Kelch Post 311. Among those words was an emphasis on God to whom they gave thanks and acknowledging that freedom of worship is one of the foundation stones of America.
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  • Words of valor, courage and sacrifice were shared at the traditional Veteran's Day observance held at 11 a.m. Monday and hosted by Hawley American Legion Wilson-Kelch Post 311. Among those words was an emphasis on God to whom they gave thanks and acknowledging that freedom of worship is one of the foundation stones of America.
    A dozen members of Post 311 gathered at the Veteran's Monument and flag, opposite Bingham Park. Around 20 people gathered to observe the 15- 20 minute ceremony, which include the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer said by the chaplain, and prepared remarks offered by several of the Post members.
    Past Commander George Hibbs led the ceremony. He noted that US veterans defended freedom of mankind and sought to preserve "our precious American heritage." The Vietnam veteran said that America's veterans fought with "profound gratitude to God."
    In Chaplain Joseph Mundy's prayer, he said in part, "Touch thou the souls of people in every land with the enduring light of wisdom so that they may form a brotherhood which will strive to further the arts of peace under laws and ethics blessed by Thy love."
    Post 311 holds the ceremony every year. Ann Morgan, who was in the audience, said she recalls when the students from the Hawley School on Academy Street would march down in a parade to the ceremony, held at the bandstand. The Hawley High School Band would provide music.
    For the past 10 years, Post 311 has also been part of the ceremony hosted by the Wallenpaupack 4th grade, held the evening of November 11th in the High School gymnasium. This year, Post 311 decided not to participate at the school event out of principle. They cited the erosion of freedoms in America which has resulted in Supreme Court rulings prohibiting the Post chaplain from saying a prayer at a school-led event.
    Pat Thompson, who is on Post 311's Executive Committee, said that he was hopeful that a compromise could be worked out with the School District for next year. He said he gave information to the Superintendent about the Equal Access Law, which allows voluntary Bible clubs and the like to be held on school property after hours. The proposal would be that an after-school club could work with the fourth grade and have the very same program on Veteran's Day and yet allow the Post chaplain to pray.
    Chaplain Mundy commented after the ceremony that this nation was founded on freedom of religion, and the Supreme Court should reverse this decision concerning prayer.

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