Gov. Wolf: Paying Tribute to the Fallen is our Duty on Memorial Day

May 24, 2019

Harrisburg, PA – As Indiantown Gap National Cemetery prepares to host its 2019 Memorial Day ceremony, Governor Tom Wolf today offered his gratitude for and remembrance of those who have sacrificed all for our commonwealth and our country. The governor also has ordered the commonwealth flags on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings and grounds in Pennsylvania to fly at half-staff immediately and through the Memorial Day holiday in honor of deceased servicemembers.

“Far too often we forget that we enjoy lives of freedom because our men and women in uniform are always there, protecting us, with many giving their lives, sacrificing all,” Gov. Wolf said. “That’s why it is our duty to pay tribute to their bravery and their sacrifice, to lay poppies on their graves, to attend parades and marches, to sit quietly and remember their service, to commemorate them in our own special ways.

“The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs demonstrates every day its support for our veterans and this Memorial Day commemoration at the country’s largest veterans’ memorial in a national cemetery is a fitting tribute to those who gave all.”

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) invites everyone to attend the event and show their respect at the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial located at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Annville, Lebanon County. The memorial stands as a lasting tribute to those who served our nation in times of war and peace. The annual Memorial Day service is 2 p.m., Sunday, May 26, rain or shine.

“This memorial is full of symbolism of those who gave so much for our freedom and this weekend is to honor and remember our fallen and their families,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the DMVA. “We hope that all Pennsylvanians take the time this weekend to show their appreciation to the families of our fallen and our veterans. We are also grateful to the many generous donors to the Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial Trust Fund. It is through this kindness that we are able to preserve this beautiful symbol of incredible sacrifice.”

Carrelli said 100 percent of the donations go towards routine upkeep such as landscaping, lighting, and fountains as well as needed maintenance for structural and cosmetic components throughout the memorial.

The memorial design is intended to evoke “the ruins of a war-torn building centered in a land of solemnity.” Its architecture is peaceful and harmonious, containing the elements of air, land and water representative of the battlefields where our veterans fought for our freedom. A tomb for all fallen soldiers, known or unknown, is strategically placed, mindful of the sacrifices shared by veterans in the cause of freedom. It serves as an active living memorial to the ideals and principles for which veterans have served, battled and died.

Anyone interested in supporting additional veteran’s causes can visit donate.dmva.pa.gov to consider contributing to the Veterans’ Trust Fund, the Military Family Relief Assistance Program or any of the six Veterans Homes Resident Welfare Funds.

For information about any of the DMVA’s services or programs for veterans, visit veterans.pa.gov or call 1-800-547-2838.

FLAG ORDER: Please note that the commonwealth flag shall remain lowered until sunset on May 29, 2019, in honor of fallen Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Donald C. Brackett. The United States flag should also be flown at half-staff on Memorial Day until noon per the United States Flag Code. All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute.

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