COAL TOWNSHIP — On Thursday afternoon at the cemeteries in Springfield, retired U.S. Army veteran J.P. Marinari, was joined by the Rev. Martin Kobos, pastor of Mother Cabrini Church, local Knights of Columbus Chapter 932 Color Guard, American Legion Post 72 Honor Guard, state Rep. Kurt Masser and local city officials for a special rededication ceremony of the Springfield Veterans Memorial.
The event was attended by about 20 to 30 people, who observed the proceedings quietly and respectfully.
Marinari, who organized the ceremony, spoke of the countless sacrifices made willingly by our nation’s active duty military personnel and veterans.
In a poignant moment, he asked all those in attendance to bow their head, close their eyes and listen.
“You can hear their voices in the breeze,” said Marinari, adding, “They’re gone, but not forgotten.”
Marinari also expressed his sincere gratitude to Knights of Columbus member Mike Adams and his group of volunteers who freely gave of their time and talents to refurbish the memorial adding, “They neither asked for or received any money for all the hard work they did here. Their efforts are greatly appreciated.”
Kobos read the poem titled “In Flanders Fields,” which was written by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae during World War I about the passing of a fellow officer. Kobos also said a brief memorial prayer.
Masser offered his appreciation as well for the ultimate sacrifice made by those who gave their lives for our freedom.
“We have a former soldier buried nearby who recently gave his life at a young age for our country. We’re so thankful for their service and all that they’ve done for us,” he said.
Adams said that he and his team of volunteers also recently installed a new solar light atop the flagpole at the memorial.