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Wrightstown to highlight Vietnam at veterans ceremony


Wrightstown officials say they have a simple, yet poignant, message for U.S. military veterans: “Thank you.”

To put that thanks into practice, the township will be hosting a Veterans Memorial Ceremony from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the municipal building – 2203 Second Street Pike, Wrightstown. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m.

“We always hold it the Saturday after Veterans Day so that those involved with other Veterans Day memorials can attend,” said Jane Magne, a member of the Wrightstown Board of Supervisors.

This year’s event will place particular focus on the Vietnam War. Speakers, memorabilia and music from the period will be highlighted. The speakers will include Rich Gresko, recipient of the Navy Cross; Dan Fraley, a Vietnam veteran and director of Bucks County Military Affairs; Mike DeBonis of the Bucks County Tour of Honor; and Bob Craven from Guardians of the National Cemetery.

“We began our annual Veterans Ceremony in 2008, the year we dedicated our new Armed Services Memorial in front of the Wrightstown Township building,” said Magne. “This memorial was the culmination of an Eagle Scout project by Matt Piette, who raised more than $42,000 in cash, labor and materials to construct it.”

Magne said the township has been highlighting different historical years for the past few years at the ceremony. Last year, the event focused on World War I, as it was the 100th anniversary of the Nov. 11, 1918 armistice that ended that conflict. Prior to that, the ceremony spotlighted the Korean War and World War II eras.

“It is very important to honor those who put their lives on hold, and very often in harm’s way, to protect the freedoms and way of life that we enjoy,” said Magne. “If we forget or ignore history, it has the potential to repeat itself. Many of our veterans have seen firsthand the atrocities of conflict and can teach us well. This is our way of thanking all who have served for the sacrifices they made to keep our nation safe and our freedoms intact.”