SANATOGA PA – Lew Babel could hardly believe his eyes.
The Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society member, who during several months had supervised the rebuilding of the society’s veterans monument at 2341 E. High St., looked Sunday (Nov. 10, 2013) from the rear of Sanatoga Chapel and saw almost every seat there filled. There were people standing along its walls too, and more slowly filing in from its vestibule.
“I was hoping we’d have a good turn out,” Babel said with a surprised smile, “but I didn’t expect this.”
Sunday’s rededication of the monument, which lists the names of all Lower Pottsgrove residents who died in the nation’s service from World War I through the Vietnam War, attracted their surviving relatives, veterans of all ages, members of both township fire departments, a uniformed township police contingent, and others in the community who simply wanted to pay tribute to those who served.
They were welcomed by the society’s Tom Troutman, who in turn recognized family members of the deceased, visiting veterans, and state and local officials. The Rev. Dan Gerber led the invocation.
Babel himself thanked several contractors who helped rebuild the monument and the society’s sign after both were hit by an automobile during an April (2013) accident. He also praised former society President Beth Scherer for her work in pursuing the insurance claim that made paying for the repair work possible.
Pottstown historian Michael Snyder gave a researched account of the lives of the three township residents who gave their lives in, or as a result of, World War I.
The crowd then moved outside, where the flag was raised on the monument’s west side, as Eagle Scout and bugler Neil Fuerman played “Taps.” It was followed by a gun salute by members of Sanatoga American Legion Post 244, and the laying of a wreath at its base.