AVENUE OF FLAGS
The “Avenue of Flags” is a presentation of over 700 interment flags on flagstaffs that line the lanes in this National Cemetery. The interment flags are donated by families whose relatives were entitled to military honors at their funeral and the memorial flag (the interment/casket flag) was then donated by the family to this National Cemetery for use on the Avenue of Flags. The presentation is set up the first Saturday in May and is taken down one or two weekends after Veterans Day in November. This program enlists the aid of over 500 volunteers to maintain the integrity of the presentation. Volunteer inspection teams inspect the flags of the presentation every weekend during the six and a half months the flags fly and when an interment flag is found to be unserviceable, it is removed from the flagstaff and a new flag is put up in its place.
MEMORIAL DAY PROGRAM
The Memorial Day Program is held on the Sunday immediately before Memorial Day at 2 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Veterans Memorial in the National Cemetery. Traditionally, the theme of the Memorial Service is to honor the lives of the military who died in battle during hostile actions or later as a result injuries suffered during those hostilities. This program is open to the public and there is no charge for parking, shuttle bus service, admission or any hand-outs given to the patrons. A guest speaker from the co-hosting VSO (Veterans Service Organization) offers their oratory, a band will play a few selections of music or a choir will perform several renditions of appropriate songs and wreaths are symbolically placed memorializing those who died in the service of their country.
A Massing of the Colors may also be presented. This Massing of Colors is a parade of US flags and organizational flags that are marched through the PA Veterans Memorial arena before and after the ceremony. Organizations include any VSO, fraternal organizations and Scouting and other youth groups that participate in patriotic events. Groups that are interested in being a part of the Massing of Colors are to contact the Memorial Council for more information.
VETERANS DAY PROGRAM
The Veterans Day Program is held on the Sunday immediately before November 11th, Veterans Day, unless the 11th is a Sunday, then the program is held on that date. This program follows the same time, place and services provided as the Memorial Day Program except the theme is to honor the living veteran and the veteran who has died by causes other than military injuries. A Massing of the Colors is also presented at this event.
The Holiday Candlelight Service Program is held on the same day as the Wreaths Across America event, and the free Holiday Candlelight Service program starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Pennsylvania Veterans Memorial. Chemical glow sticks are used in this program in place of lighted wax candles and the glow sticks are distributed free of charge to the patrons. During the program, the patrons are invited to step up to the microphone to offer a brief remembrance of a loved one who served in the military. The program also features a Color Guard that perform the flag honors and a local choir that will sing a few appropriate selections. The weather in December is cold and sometimes windy and patrons are advised to dress appropriately as the entire program is outdoors and the Chem-Sticks, though bright and shiny, do not offer any warmth.
REMEMBER the Fallen. . . HONOR those who Serve. . . TEACH our children the value of Freedom.
The Memorial council will assist with the ceremony and wreath placements to Remember and Honor our veterans by laying Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes.
Please help us honor and remember as many fallen heroes as possible by sponsoring remembrance wreaths, volunteering on Wreaths Day, or inviting your family and friends to attend with you.
“The Willingness Of Our Veteran’s To Sacrifice For Our Country Has Earned Them Our Lasting Gratitude.”