Road ded­i­ca­tion hon­ors Hat­boro hero

Public Spirit - - LETTERS - By Thomas P. Murt

State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive It has taken more than 40 years, but on Satur­day, Sept. 22, at 2:00 p.m., our community will fi­nally honor lo­cal hero and Hat­boro res­i­dent, SP4 Harold E. Cash­man Jr., for the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice he made in the Viet­nam War.

On that day, I will be com­mem­o­ra­tively ded­i­cat­ing Warmin­ster Road be­tween East County Line and By­berry roads as the SP4 Harold E. Cash­man, Jr. Memo­rial High­way. This ded­i­ca­tion is an hon­orary one and will not change the name of Warmin­ster Road.

Hat­boro is like many other com­mu­ni­ties across Amer­ica in that it hasn’t been as gra­cious to its Viet­nam vet­er­ans as it should have been. Our coun­try al­lowed our Viet­nam vet­er­ans to come home to an un­grate­ful na­tion that was openly hos­tile to­ward them. To this day, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment still makes our Viet­nam vet­er­ans grovel for the VA ben­e­fits they de­serve and have rightly earned from their ex­po­sure to chem­i­cal de­fo­liants such as Agent Orange.

Some of Amer­ica’s best, bright­est, and bravest men and women fought in Viet­nam and served with great honor. Some never re­turned, yet have never re­ceived so much as a thank you or ac­knowl­edg­ment of their sac­ri­fice. One of these young men who served and died in Viet­nam was Hat­boro’s Harold E. Cash­man from Corinthian Av­enue. He is one of seven men from Hat­boro who died in the Viet­nam War.

Harold, or Eddie, as he was known by his fam­ily and friends, grew up in Hat­boro, just a block off of Warmin­ster Road. This is the sec­tion of the road cho­sen to honor him.

Eddie grad­u­ated from Hat­boro-Hor­sham High School in 1962 and was at­tend­ing Delaware Val­ley Col­lege in Doylestown prior to be­ing drafted into the U.S. Army. Eddie loved to bowl with his par­ents and sis­ter, Judy, at the old Hat­boro Bowl­ing Alley on Jacksonville Road. He also en­joyed ski­ing and liked to visit rel­a­tives in Pough­keep­sie to take ad­van­tage of the great ski­ing in Dutchess County. He was on the golf team at Hat­boro-Hor­sham High School and also worked at Jef­fer­son’s Drug Store in Hat­boro. He was study­ing Or­na­men­tal Hor­ti­cul­ture at Delaware Val­ley Col­lege and talked about open­ing a com­mer­cial nurs­ery with his dad af­ter the war.

Like most of the men and women who served in Viet­nam, Eddie Cash­man was just an av­er­age guy who was do­ing his duty. He did not vol­un­teer to go to Viet- nam, but pa­tri­ot­i­cally re­sponded to his coun­try’s call. De­spite be­ing only six cred­its short of grad­u­a­tion from Delaware Val­ley Col­lege, Eddie Cash­man never sought a stu­dent de­fer­ment like many oth­ers, but in­stead, loy­ally re­ported when he re­ceived his draft notice. His mother once said that Eddie never even com­plained about his be­ing sent to Viet­nam or about the Army.

Eddie Cash­man served in Viet­nam as an in­fantry­man with C CO, 1ST BN, 12TH CAVALRY, 1ST CAV DIV, USARV. His tour be­gan in Au­gust of 1967. He was killed in nuang Tri Prov­ince, South Viet­nam, in the early days of the Tet Offensive on Jan­uary 31, 1968. Af­ter an es­pe­cially vi­cious fire­fight with the Viet Cong, SP4 Harold E. Cash­man Jr. had been miss­ing in ac­tion be­fore his body was fi­nally re­cov­ered days later. He died of mul­ti­ple frag­men­ta­tion wounds. Ac­counts of his death state that he died while lay­ing down sup­pres­sive fire with his weapon so his fel­low sol­diers could seek cover from a par­tic­u­larly bru­tal Viet Cong as­sault. SP4 Harold E. Cash­man Jr. is buried with his par­ents at Whitemarsh Memo­rial Park in the Prospectville sec­tion of Hor­sham Town­ship.

The pub­lic is cor­dially in­vited to at­tend this ded­i­ca­tion for Eddie Cash­man this Satur­day. The cer­e­mony will be held in the front park­ing lot of St. John Bosco Church, 23R E. County Line Road, Hat­boro. Cash­man’s sur­viv­ing fam­ily mem­bers will be at­tend­ing, as will his class­mates from the class of 1962 at Hat­boro-Hor­sham High School. Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to wear red, white and blue in his honor.

Eddie Cash­man will no longer be for­got­ten by the greater Hat­boro community. Peo­ple us­ing Warmin­ster Road will be re­minded that a young man named Eddie Cash­man lived nearby, bravely served in Viet­nam and gave his life in the de­fense of free­dom.

Scrip­ture tells us that “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John, 1R:13). Eddie Cash­man went one bet­ter: he laid down his life not just for his fel­low sol­diers, but for com­plete strangers. Eddie Cash­man may have been just a reg­u­lar guy from Hat­boro, but there is noth­ing or­di­nary about the sac­ri­fice he made in the Viet­nam War. Af­ter Sept. 22, Eddie Cash­man will no longer be for­got­ten by his home­town, as a small piece of Warmin­ster Road will bear his name.

State Rep. Thomas P. Murt serves the 152nd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict, which in­cludes the Hat­boro Bor­ough and Up­per More­land Town­ship.

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