Pennsylvania Governor Honors Veterans

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Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf joined several hundred soldiers, veterans, Gold Star families and citizens at the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s Annual 28th Infantry Division Memorial Service in Boalsburg on May 21. The event was held to honor the division’s heritage and remember the unit’s soldiers who died in service to their country.

“Today, we are here to remember and honor the 28th Infantry Division – one of the finest divisions in this country and the oldest active division in the Army,” said Governor Wolf during his remarks at the service. “Through their service, they have always exemplified the values that we as Americans hold dear – liberty, compassion, help for the vulnerable and honor.”

The annual event is held on the grounds on the Pennsylvania Military Museum at the 28th Infantry Division Shrine, which was built after the conclusion of WWI in 1919. The memorial service arose from the early reunions of Col. Theodore Boal’s WWI machine gun troop. Boal, from the town’s namesake family, funded and equipped a 90-soldier company that would see action in France alongside other 28 ID units. Local historians consider Boalsburg the birth place of Memorial Day.

Governor Wolf also thanked the more than 100 Gold Star Family members in attendance who represented 12 of the 39 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard killed in action during the global war on terror.

“Words can never express the sacrifice that you have made as family members,” he added. “We mourn with you. All of Pennsylvania mourns with you.”

A 21-gun salute was rendered after Gov. Wolf and Brig. Gen. Andrew Schafer, 28th Infantry Division commander, laid a wreath to honor the fallen of the 28th Infantry Division.

Despite the inherent danger of the job, thousands of division soldiers continue to serve today, defending freedom globally and protecting the commonwealth from snowstorms, floods and other disasters while also providing security for large events, such as last year’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Every brigade in the division is over 100 percent strength.

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