KITTANNING — Members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, John T. Crawford Camp 43 will be doing their part to honor the memory of veterans who fought in the various battles of Gettysburg 150 years ago.
Richard Essenwein, state department commander and Camp 43 graves registration officer, said Camp 43 members will join with other Sons units at Gettysburg this weekend for the SUVCW's annual department encampment, a business session, and a re-dedication of the Peace Light Memorial. Various Sons groups will stay at the Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center.
“On Saturday we will be on the battlefield to rededicate the Peace Light Memorial,” Essenwein said. “It was first dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt 75 years ago as a memorial to all the brothers and sisters we lost in the Battle of Gettysburg, to a nation reunited, and to eternal peace. It will be a very somber and moving ceremony.”
Essenwein said that during such annual gatherings, the Sons make donations to charitable organizations in the towns in which they meet — this year, in Gettysburg. One charity is selected by the state department's patriotic instructor and a second is selected by the ladies' auxiliary.
“Originally the charitable donations were presented at a campfire ceremony,” he said. “But the parks department has regulations prohibiting fires on the battlefield, so the presentations will be made at the Conference Center. Camp 43 is proud and honored to play a role in this historic and solemn event.”
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