by June Portnoy
Memorial Day is a lot more than celebrating the unofficial start of the summer and the opening of swimming pools. This federal holiday is about honoring and remembering those who died serving our country to protect and defend our freedom, and that is precisely what a large group of Northampton Township residents did this Memorial Day on May 28th at Robert H. Dembowski, Jr. Veterans Memorial Park.
The park served as a symbolic setting for the ceremony, as it is named to commemorate Army PFC Robert H. Dembowski Jr., a Northampton resident who died at the young age of 18 on May 24th, 2007 when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire near Baghdad, Iraq.
“Today we come to honor those who have served our country, who have given their greatest and most precious gift to our nation; they have given their lives,” said Rev. Janice A. Puliti, from St. John’s Methodist Church, who gave the invocation.
Frank Rothermel, Chairman of the Northampton Township Board of Supervisors recognized Robert Dembowski, as well as the Township’s most recent casualty of war, Army Master Sergeant Kenneth Elwell, a lifelong Holland resident.
He died in combat last July 17th in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“We’re here today to honor our hometown heroes and all of American patriots from the time of this nation’s great founding who sacrificed their lives to defend this country,” said Chairman Rothermel.