Memorial Day in Swarthmore and Rose Valley
The many were reminded of their enduring debt to the few in two local Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday. Rose Valley mayor and career Army officer Tim Plummer led the Pledge of Allegiance, read a succinct appreciation, and joined a couple dozen residents in planting small flags at the base of a half-staff Old Glory at the town’s veterans’ memorial.
In Swarthmore, guest speaker Alan Howe, USAF Retired, spoke movingly about the responsibility we bear as free citizens: to embrace in our thoughts and protect in our deeds the principles of democracy, and to call out divisive actions and false rhetoric that aim to undermine national unity.
His speech followed an invocation by Reverend William Gray of Wesley A.M.E. Church, remarks by former mayors Eck Gerner and Tim Kearney as well as current Mayor Marty Spiegel, and a reading by Bob Richardson of the roll of Swarthmoreans who died in service during foreign wars. Scouts handed flags to veterans for placement at Swarthmore’s memorial. Silver Dollar band trumpeters rendered Taps in echo fashion. As the last notes died out, fire truck engines rumbled to life to follow a procession of the assembled down Park Avenue to decorate veterans’ graves at Eastlawn Cemetery.