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Memorial Day at the Protestant Home

Jim Walker played Taps.
Audrey Alston leads the crowd in America the Beautiful.
Ryan Donaghy (left) and Jorge Rodriguez raise the American flag.
POW/MIA table

The Philadelphia Protestant Home, 6401 Martins Mill Road, hosted its annual Memorial Day observance on Monday.

Bill Conaway, PPH’s director of community relations, was the emcee, with residents playing a big part in the ceremony.

Pastor Ken Smith offered an invocation and benediction. Jim Walker played Taps. Mary McCurdy placed a wreath. Her husband, Lester, was an Army veteran who died in March. Audrey Alston led the crowd in a rendition of America the Beautiful.

State Rep. Jared Solomon noted that Memorial Day began in 1868, adding that the holiday is a reminder of the cost of a free and undivided republic.

Security guards Ryan Donaghy and Jorge Rodriguez, a 27-year military veteran, raised the American flag.

Conaway explained the significance of the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action table, a place of honor set for one, and read the war poem In Flanders Fields. Phil Grutzmacher, a 102-year-old resident, generally reads the poem from memory, but was unable to attend.

PPH executive assistant Kathy Wersinger read a poem, and discussed her memorable 2017 Bucks County Tour of Honor trip to Washington, D.C. with then-PPH president and CEO Anthony Manzo and a group of veterans. ••

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