Making ‘America’s pastime’ possible

By on April 30, 2014

 Local veterans invited to Salute to Veterans event

It has been said there is nothing more American than baseball. The national pastime has evolved with our country, with origins dating back to the 18th century. Its popularity grew substantially during the Civil War, when soldiers from different states played the game together, leading to a more unified national version of the sport. Now, as a dominant part of the American culture, it’s hard to argue that baseball is any less unique to our great nation than democratic government.

However, I hope everyone can agree that there is something even more American than the beloved sport &tstr; the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces. Through the past 250 years, our veterans have earned and protected this nation’s freedom, so that we may enjoy simple luxuries such as spending the day at the ballpark cheering on our favorite team. Our military personnel, past and present, are the common thread that has been weaved through the fabric of America, both preserving and creating history along the way. When our freedoms have been threatened, it is they who have stepped up to the plate.

Former state Rep. John Bear and I will be continuing the tradition of combining two American standards into one great evening of gratitude for our veterans by hosting the seventh annual Salute to Veterans event on Thursday, May 22, at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

Each veteran and his or her guest is invited to join us for a Lancaster Barnstormers baseball game, which will begin at 7 p.m. Both will receive free admittance to the game and Barnstormer Bucks to spend on refreshments at the game. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., there will be an on-field ceremony to honor our veterans, featuring performances by the Washington Memorial Pipe Band, and hometown favorites, The New Holland Band and John Darrenkamp, as well as a flyover by a B-25 bomber from the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum. Vietnam War veteran Dick Hoxworth will again serve as our emcee for the evening’s activities.

On behalf of this year’s sponsors, Lititz Springs VFW Post No. 1463, the American Legion Garden Spot Post No. 56, Sechan Electronics, Thermacore, Alcoa, Kratos-Lancaster, Fluid Conditioning Products, Fred F. Groff Funeral Home, WGAL-TV, Clair Global and Knights of Columbus Council No. 6810, former Rep. John Bear, my staff, and I would like to invite veterans to begin registering for this year’s Salute to Veterans.

Seating is limited for the event, so reservations are required. To register, call my district office, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 626-1776, or register electronically at my website,

It is our hope that you will be able to join with us as we recognize those who have answered the call to military service and honor the lives and legacies of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for future generations of Americans!

 Steven C. Mentzer, of Lancaster County, was elected to represent the citizens of the 97th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Before his election to office, Mentzer served as the treasurer of Manheim Township. He has also been heavily involved in a variety of humanitarian efforts, both locally and globally, since 2006. Visit

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