Ca­bela’s ded­i­cates POW/ MIA Chair of Honor

Berks County Air Force MIAs rec­og­nized: MI Cap­tain David Pannabecker of Womels­dorf, Colonel Thomas Du­gan of Read­ing, and Lieu­tenant Colonel Ralph Angstadt of Oley

The Hamburg Area Item - - Front Page - By Lisa Mitchell lmitchell@ 21st- cen­tu­ry­media. com @ ham­bur­gitem on Twit­ter

Ca­bela’s in Hamburg hosted a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony for a POW/ MIA Chair of Honor which was un­veiled in the store on Nov. 3.

“May this un­oc­cu­pied chair stand­ing in silent re­pose serve as a last­ing trib­ute to all POWs and a con­stant re­minder of those still MIA, that a fi­nal ac­count­ing is yet and must be made,” said for­mer POW David Mills. “On be­half of my POW brethren here to­day, and all POWs ev­ery­where, we thank all who fought, all who pray and all who kept the home lights burn­ing for our free­dom.”

Mills was a Chi­nese Prisoner of War for four months in 1952. He said many POWs at that time died dur­ing trans­porta­tion to prisoner of war camps.

“Most of us who were POWs in Korea be­lieve that they are lost through trav­el­ing through treach­er­ous win­ter con­di­tions, frozen to death on the roads, ex­e­cuted on the high­ways with their hands tied be­hind their backs. Never a chance to again see their loved ones. Never again to see this beau­ti­ful coun­try,” said Mills, get­ting emo­tional, list­ing the num­bers of POWs and MIAs in each war since the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War.

The morn­ing pro­gram hon­or­ing all vet­er­ans and POW/ MIAs in­cluded mu­sic by Hamburg High School’s Ariel Bound­aries se­lect choir. Se­lec­tions in­cluded

“Don’t Sit Un­der the Ap­ple Tree” which is a love song made pop­u­lar dur­ing WWII, “The Na­tional An­them,” “Amaz­ing Grace” and a “Salute to the Armed Forces.”

Pa­triot Guard Rid­ers lined up hold­ing flags dur­ing the cer­e­mony. Mem­bers of lo­cal VFWs were sit­ting in the au­di­ence, as well as area vet­er­ans and mil­i­tary fam­ily mem­bers. State Po­lice Color Guard and the Marine Corp. Color Guard gave the Pre­sen­ta­tion of Col­ors. Chap­lain Terry Marsh of VFW Wag­n­erGood Post 216 Hamburg gave the bene­dic­tion.

Ron Leh, Re­tail Mar­ket­ing Man­ager of Ca­bela’s Hamburg, started putting this pro­gram to­gether after Eric Williams, Re­tail Mar­ket­ing Man­ager, ded­i­cated a POW/ MIA Chair of Honor at the Ca­bela’s Chris­tiana store. Ca­bela’s hopes to ded­i­cate a chair at ev­ery Ca­bela’s store across the coun­try.

“92,000. That is the num­ber of POW/ MIAs un­ac­counted for to this day,” said Leh.

Ca­bela’s Gen­eral Man­ager Ed Bar­tolotta said Ca­bela’s is hon­ored and hum­bled to ded­i­cate this Chair of Honor.

“Our hearts go out to all who served... we love our vet­er­ans,” said Bar­tolotta.

Those in at­ten­dance in­cluded Berks County Com­mis­sion Chris­tian Lein­bach, Sen. Judy Sch­wank, Rep. David Maloney, Rep. Mark Gillen, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Sen. Pat Toomey, as well as for­mer POWs Bill Fili and David Mills.

“Th­ese are sto­ries that need to be told,” said Gillen, happy to also see chil­dren in at­ten­dance to hear the sto­ries. He also brought his young daugh­ter up to the podium with him. “Thank you to all who have served... Re­mem­ber those who have served. Re­mem­ber. Re­mem­ber. Re­mem­ber.”

“What you have done to pro­vide for our coun­try, for our safety, I just can’t thank you enough for that,” said Sch­wank. “I thank you and ap­pre­ci­ate all that you have done.”

“Thank you for the vet­er­ans and thank you for the sup­port that is be­ing showed here... We re­ally can’t say enough ‘ thank yous,’” said Maloney, shar­ing a per­sonal story about his un­cle be­ing listed as MIA. “Thank you for rec­og­niz­ing th­ese men and women who need to be hon­ored.”

“Thank you for your ser- vice,” said Ma­jor Gen­eral ( re­tired) Eric Weller, the Deputy Ad­ju­tant Gen­eral for Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, to the vet­er­ans and mil­i­tary fam­i­lies gath­ered. “How do we thank peo­ple who have sac­ri­ficed so much? It’s sim­ple. We re­mem­ber them... Please, never for­get.”

Air Force MIAs from Berks County were rec­og­nized: Cap­tain David Pannabecker of Womels­dorf, miss­ing since March 1972; Colonel Thomas Du­gan of Read­ing, miss­ing since De­cem­ber 1968; and Lieu­tenant Colonel Ralph Angstadt of Oley, miss­ing since Oc­to­ber 1966.

Fam­ily mem­bers of the lo­cal MIAs were in at­ten­dance, Jan Angstadt Slauser of Lower Al­sace Twp., Kath­leen Du­gan of Har­ris­burg and her sis­ter Na­dine Du­gan- Ven­zke of Ex­eter.

“It was amaz­ing,” said Slauser about the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony. “They’re not for­got­ten.”

“I’m very emo­tion­ally drained,” said Du­gan- Venske. “The story about the POW was very touch­ing,” re­fer­ring to Mills’ speech.

“I thought it was amaz­ing. I think we all did. Amaz­ing and im­pres­sive,” said Du­gan about the cer­e­mony. “It proves that peo­ple are not for­get­ting and that’s im­por­tant.”

Lein­bach said the Chair of Honor for POWs and MIAs rep­re­sents 72,000 WWII POW/ MIAs, 7,700 Korean POW/ MIAs, 1,600 Viet­nam, 126 the Cold War.

“But it means even more than that. For the Du­gans, the Angstadts and the Pannabeck­ers, they rep­re­sent the three POW/ MIA fam­i­lies here in Berks County, all Air Force, all Colonels, all f ly­ers. This is their chair. This chair be­longs to all of the fam­i­lies of all the men and women that have even been a POW or MIA...” said Lein­bach. “We must al­ways re­mem­ber... To­day, we’re here to thank Ca­bela’s for putting a sym­bol in their store that will en­cour­age ev­ery­one who comes to this place to re­mem­ber that free­dom is not free and to re­mem­ber we will not rest un­til ev­ery one comes home.”

LISA MITCHELL - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

For­mer POW David Mills speaks dur­ing the ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony for a POW/ MIA Chair of Honor held at Ca­bela’s in Hamburg on Nov. 3.

LISA MITCHELL - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ca­bela’s in Hamburg hosted a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony for a POW/ MIA Chair of Honor which was un­veiled in the store on Nov. 3. On left are fam­ily mem­bers of Air Force MIAs from Berks County, Jan Angstadt Slauser of Oley, Kath­leen Du­gan of Har­ris­burg and her sis­ter Na­dine Du­gan- Ven­zke of Ex­eter. On right are for­mer POWs Bill Fili and David Mills.

LISA MITCHELL - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Pa­triot Guard Rid­ers lined up hold­ing flags dur­ing the cer­e­mony held at Ca­bela’s in Hamburg, ded­i­cat­ing a POW/ MIA Chair of Honor on Nov. 3.

LISA MITCHELL - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ca­bela’s in Hamburg hosted a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony for a POW/ MIA Chair of Honor on Nov. 3. Hamburg High School’s Ariel Bound­aries se­lect choir per­formed se­lec­tions that in­cluded “Don’t Sit Un­der the Ap­ple Tree” which is a love song made pop­u­lar dur­ing WWII, “Na­tional An­them,” “Amaz­ing Grace” and a “Salute to the Armed Forces.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.