May 30, 2012
Commissioners Host Doylestown Bicentennial Military Appreciation and Enlistment Ceremony
“Thank You for Your Commitment to Our Freedom”
One hundred years ago, Bucks County residents gathered in Doylestown Borough to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Doylestown becoming the county seat – and to honor veterans of the Civil War. During a noon ceremony on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, a similar gathering celebrated our military heroes of all eras, including the ongoing War on Terror. The event doubled as an unforgettable Oath of Enlistment Ceremony for six local young men who represent the next generation of military service.
“Do not forget today; it is one of a kind,” Commissioner Chairman Robert G. Loughery told the half-dozen recruits. Reflecting on his experiences as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves two decades ago, he added, “There may be times when you want to quit, but when that moment does come, think about today. We are proud of you.”
The event, which took place in the Bucks County Courthouse Memorial Courtyard, was hosted by the Bucks County Commissioners and emceed by Doylestown Historical Society Executive Director Stu Abramson. It was part of the Doylestown Bicentennial Celebration, which began Memorial Day and continues through Saturday, June 2 with a community picnic and fireworks.
“So far the celebration is going very well, and we are very pleased with everything,” Mr. Abramson told the assemblage. “To me, it’s pretty incredible that 100 years ago, they stood in almost this very place. Now, we honor those who fought in the Global War on Terror. If your child can read a book, you can thank a teacher. If they can read it in English, you can thank a veteran.”
Pennsylvania Lt. Governor and former Commissioner James F. Cawley, Esq. brought his greetings “on behalf of a grateful commonwealth.” His remarks included the historic nature of Doylestown Borough (through which the Liberty Bell once passed when it was hidden from the British soldiers in Philadelphia). “Doylestown is uniquely tied to our effort to preserve freedom and democracy,” he told a gathering that included veterans of wars dating back to World War II, Congressman and former Commissioner Mike Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania Senator Chuck McIlhinney, and Pennsylvania Representative Marguerite Quinn.
Noting that our nation’s rich tradition demands that “if you desire peace and freedom, you have to be ready to defend it,” Congressman Fitzpatrick presented American Flags that had flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of those who serve “on behalf of a grateful nation.” Sen. McIlhinney made a similar presentation of the Pennsylvania state flag.
Rep. Quinn described the enlistment oath (administered by Admiral Steve Chadwick) as “very uplifting.”
Addressing the young men who will be part of the U.S. Army Junior ROTC program, she added, “I will never forget the look on your face. Thank you for your commitment to our freedom.” Rep. Quinn also read a proclamation on behalf of the Pennsylvania legislature, which seeks to recognize “exceptional municipalities” like Doylestown.
Representing Doylestown VFW Post 175, Vietnam War Marine Richard Scott read the names of the 16 Bucks Countians killed in action during the War on Terror. During its May 16 business meeting, the Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to provide a site for a permanent Bucks County Global War on Terror Memorial in the Courthouse courtyard. It will be located adjacent to N. Main St., across the courtyard from the Korean War Memorial.
“The VFW motto is ‘Honor the dead by serving the living,’ “ Mr. Scott observed. “There is no better way to celebrate by honoring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”