‘Lititz Remembers’ Parade & encampment will mark Memorial Day

By on May 17, 2017

The Lititz American Legion will conduct the annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony May 29 at 10:30 a.m.

The short patriotic parade forms on Warwick Street, moves to North Broad, and then to East Main, and ends at the Moravian Cemetery. There, a memorial program will be held in honor of all fallen veterans.

Matt Good, head of the Vet 21 Honor Guard, will be the keynote speaker. The community is encouraged to participate.

Hot dog roast

Following the parade, the Moravian Women will host a hot dog roast at the church’s pavilion from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pavilion is adjacent to the Moravian Cemetery where the parade ends and the Memorial Day service concludes.

For $2, diners will receive a hot dog with all the fixings (including sauerkraut), water, iced tea, or lemonade.

All proceeds from the event will support one of the current projects of the Moravian Women.

Reenactors will be honoring soldiers from all American wars on May 29 in Lititz Springs Park. The event, Lititz Remembers, starts immediately after the conclusion of the town’s Memorial Day parade.

Reenactors will be honoring soldiers from all American wars on May 29 in Lititz Springs Park. The event, Lititz Remembers, starts immediately after the conclusion of the town’s Memorial Day parade.

‘Lititz Remembers’

The Lititz Springs Park Board is sponsoring a military encampment in Lititz Springs Park following the conclusion of the parade.

“Lititz Remembers… A Timeline Encampment of Military History” will take place from noon to 4 p.m. in Lititz Springs Park.

As visitors make their way through the main park entrance off of Route 501, they will see the progression of our nation’s military history. Set-up chronologically from the Revolutionary War to the present, the public can journey through the encampments of re-enactors and war machinery to witness demonstrations and experience the sights and sounds of the times.

The encampment is organized by volunteers Erin Myers and Cathy Gelatka.

“We are expecting about 20 to 25 reenactors ranging from Revolutionary War to present day,” Myers said. “I am a member of the German Regiment of the Continental Army, based out of Lancaster County. Parke Oehme has assisted with organization and is a member of the Seabees out of Lititz. We have both invited reenacting friends that we know through the community of reenactors local to this area to share knowledge of their time periods with the Lititz community in honor of Memorial Day.”

II service as a medic in the Pacific, is 92 years old today. He is the father of Lititz Remembers co-organizer Cathy Gelatka.

Elwood C. Guisewhite, shown during his World War II service as a medic in the Pacific, is 92 years old. He is the father of Lititz Remembers co-organizer Cathy Gelatka.

“This may be corny, but I really promoted the event in honor of my father, who is a 92-year-old World War II vet,” said Gelatka. “He was a medic in the Pacific who helped to liberate an interment camp. We always celebrated Memorial Day in my home town with a parade, picnic, etc. Dad was the Sergeant at Arms for the colorguard.”

Gelatka’s father, Elwood C. Guisewhite, received a Silver Star for bravery for his courage on Feb. 11, 1945. He manned a first-aid station during heavy fighting on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

According to the citation accompanying his award, Guisewhite “crawled through constant rifle, machine gun, and mortar fire, and gave medical treatment to a badly wounded comrade.” Once he treated the man, Guisewhite went back to the aid station to get a litter, then flagged down three soldiers to help him bring the wounded man to safety.

Guisewhite said standing up would have meant instant death.

“The Japanese had a sniper in a church tower, so you couldn’t stand up. We had to drag (the wounded man) through a rice paddy,” he said.

After returning to the aid station, Guisewhite continued to administer first aid to wounded soldiers — himself included.

Guisewhite’s is one of countless stories of heroism and acts of selflessness brought home from wartime.

Gelatka could think of no more proper way to honor her father, and the myriad of men and women who have served, than with “Lititz Remembers.”

Held rain or shine, the free event is appropriate for families. Food vendors will be operating in the main parking lot.

Interested historians can participate by e-mailing parke@oehmecarrier.com. For more information, visit lititzspringspark.org.

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer at the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments at 721-4452 or mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com.

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