Lambertsville service focuses on social distraction
Joshua Manley, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, spoke at the 151st consecutive Memorial Day commemoration at Lambertsville Cemetery on Monday. His presentation focused on the history of the day and the importance of remembering its purpose, which is to honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“I think much of this seems to be lost on today’s world,” Manley said. “We’re dependent on the internet, mobile communications and seemingly endless technological advancement. It’s spawned 24-hour or shorter news cycles. We jump from event to event.
“Our world has a constant need for communication. That immediacy demands that even in our most treasured relationships that we have to be instantaneous. Things fade quickly.”
Richard Sturtz, the chairman of the Lambertsville Cemetery Board, introduced the speakers and presenters, who, along with Manley, included eighth grade American Legion Award recipients Avery Custer and Conner Manculich of Shanksville-Stonycreek School District. Custer read “Flanders Field,” a war poem by John McCrae that was composed during the first World War. Manculich read the Gettysburg Address.
Sturtz discussed the history of the ceremony. In 1862, a white wood-framed church was built where the Lutheran and German reform congregations had separate services. A township road was built through the cemetery leading out to Lincoln Highway. The Grandy Army of the Republic and organization of Civil War veteran started the Memorial Day Services in 1868. The Shanksville-Stonycreek Band, which performed the National Anthem, and the Shanksville-Stonycreek American Legion Post 911 have come since 1946.
(See LAMBERTSVILLE, B7)
Manley, who served in Iraq from 2006 to 2007, now works as the administrative officer and management analyst for the five national parks in western Pennsylvania. He lives in Farmington.
Manley said the technology of the current moment have hardened people’s hearts. He criticized ideological tendencies of people on the Internet. He said some people think there is an expiration date to veteran history.
“Unfortunately inertia is a, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ attitude that does impact our history among our youth,” Manley said. “Memorial Day began as a specific day to ensure that history and the memories of our heroes and sacrifices don’t fade away. While it is an important day for many, sadly for some it has become for some just another holiday that signifies the beginning of summer and time to open up pools.”