If you live in Northampton Township or the surrounding areas, you’ll more than likely recognize the names Pete Palestina and George Lange, two exceptional Northampton Township residents who have made lasting contributions to this community and have contributed to the quality of life for the residents in this township.
As a result of their altruism, Pete and George became the first two inaugural inductees to the Northampton Township Wall of Honor during a ceremony held Sunday, November 25th.
They were honored with the unveiling of two bronze plaques, on which their name, photo and accomplishments were inscribed on the Wall of Honor, located in the Township’s Municipal Park in Churchville.
“It’s such an honor to be one of the first two recipients of this award,” said Pete during the ceremony. “Words cannot describe the feeling or gratitude to be honored with George Lange.
“I moved here from Philadelphia in 1978 and was immediately impressed with how our local government worked. Here the smallest voice is heard by your local officials who go out of their way to render assistance. It was something I wanted to be part of. I got involved in politics, became part of the Planning Commission and ran for (township) supervisor, an office that I held for 24 years.”
Pete continues making a positive difference to this community as a current member of Marine Corps. League Patriot Detachment 1230, Northampton Township Veterans Advisory Commission, Northampton Day Committee, and a volunteer coordinator for the Bucks County Senior Games.
In addition, he is a former member and chairman of the Southwest Bucks County Solid Waste Disposal Advisory Committee.
Despite all his accomplishments, Pete stated, “There are two things I am most proud of and they are the Northampton Township Patriots Flag Program that I started in 2003, and the CPCU (The Philadelphia Chapter of the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters Society) Fire Safety in the Home Contest, co-sponsored with the Council Rock School Board, that I started 35 years ago.”
He remains coordinator of both programs.
Pete described how the Patriots Flag Program has honored and publicly recognized 87 township military residents who served in combat areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
George Lange spoke next, stating, “I had no idea that this (honor) was coming. I was totally surprised. I just hope that others of you will keep doing things in the township because you never know when your turn will come.”
George has demonstrated his dedication to this community in numerous ways. He is a member of the Northampton Township Lions Club, a driver for Meal on Wheels and a member of the Addisville Reformed Church’s Band of Brothers.
George cites his greatest contribution to this township as his role as leader and member of the Northampton Day Committee. “I was on that committee for 20 years and just retired from it,” said George.
To honor Pete and George’s exemplary contributions to Northampton Township, policy director Ryan Skyczlas attended the Wall of Honor ceremony on behalf of State Senator Tommy Tomlinson, presenting them with citations.
Also participating in the ceremony was former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, representing his brother U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick.
While recognizing their achievements, Mike said, “It’s a great thing from time to time for the community to take a step back and thank some of those individuals who help make Northampton and Bucks County such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire in, and to be here today to recognize two of those individuals.”
Mike later added, “These men are examples of what many people do throughout the community, but I think they have taken it to a much higher level and in doing so they are an example to everyone else as to what we can do.”
Speaking about Pete and George, Northampton Township Supervisor Dr. Kimberly Rose said, “They both give from their hearts and have done so much for our community, from every type of activity that we have. They are just wonderful people.
“We had a committee that voted for them and they were unanimously voted for. We are taking applications every year, but you have to be very special to be on that wall…This Wall of Honor is to honor our exceptional residents who have helped our community in so many ways.”
Dr. Rose led the countdown as the bronze plaques were unveiled to the cheers of guests and family as Pete and George had the first opportunity to see their plaques.
Following many photos, everyone was invited for refreshments including a cake on which Pete and George’s names were written in icing above the Northampton Township logo, continuing the celebration of these two exceptional men who have made such a positive difference to the lives of so many people in this community.
PHOTO CAP: The first two bronze plaques on the Northampton Township Wall of Honor.