LIMERICK PA – Chuck Kropp seems to never tire of his duty.
Kropp, a member of the honor guard of the Pottsgroves’ American Legion Post 244, stood at rest Sunday afternoon (May 17, 2009) just beyond the Veterans’ Memorial in the Limerick Garden of Memories. He held a trio of rifles with his left hand, rifles with which he and his firing squad colleagues would pay homage to local service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation.
Kropp smiled and joked in conversation with a passer-by. But minutes later, during a Memorial Day ceremony annually sponsored by the cemetery at 44 Swamp Pike, his face would grow as somber and serious as the tasks he was called upon to perform.
Honor Guard duty can take a toll on its participants, Kropp and others will tell you.
They regularly practice for hours – even those like Kropp, who have served for years on the detail – to ensure each of their movements is crisp, clean, and militarily professional. Then, no matter what the weather or conditions, they stand for hours more at funerals and observances like that in Limerick, to ensure that no serviceman or woman is ever forgotten.
The Pottsgroves’ American Legion contingent, recently re-named in honor of Pottstown Brigadier General Elmer S. Friedberg, was one of several service organizations joining the ceremony in Limerick. Also represented were Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 780, American Legion Post 47, Marine Corps League Detachment 450, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 565, Disabled Veterans of America Chapter 93, the AMVETS, and Chapter PA-2 of the Women Marines’ Association.
The modestly-attended event featured an invocation and benediction by Pastor Dan Peters of the Limerick Chapel, an address by Capt. Robert Boyce USN, a wreath-laying by members of the Women’s Auxiliary, and several songs played by the Limerick Brass. Members of the Limerick (PA) Township Board of Supervisors represented the municipality.