Honors, Commemorations and Gratitude
Mark Veterans Day in Montgomery County, Pa.

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - Given the role Montgomery County, Pa. played in the development of the U.S. Armed Forces - going back to the Continental Army - it's fitting that our area is a centerpiece for commemorating the military in all its forms and remembering their sacrifices.

Valley Forge National Historical Park has a full roster of activities planned for Monday, November 11. A commemoration ceremony gets the day off to a solemn start at 11 a.m. at the National Memorial Arch. Guest speakers from the National Park Service and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, as well as several local and national military organizations, will honor our nation's heroes through traditional ceremonial services.

At the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, visitors on Sunday, November 10, 1-2 p.m., will have a rare opportunity to ring for themselves the Freedom Bell. Cast during the patriotic fervor that followed the September 11 attacks, the bronze Freedom Bell weighs 250 pounds and is rimmed with 50 stars. The clapper, the pendulum inside that causes it to ring, contains metal from the wreckage of New York's World Trade Center.

The Dewees Museum, in Trappe, is honoring the veterans of all wars at its ceremony November 10, 1:30-4 p.m. A Pearl Harbor presentation from Ray Rossa, an instructor from Delaware and Montgomery County Community Colleges, will use slides and commentary to explore the U.S. entry into World War II. Military artifacts will be on display, and attendees are invited to share their own experiences and stories. Light refreshments conclude the presentation.

Irish Thunder, a Celtic music group comprising pipes and drums, is lending its distinct sounds to the November 11 Veterans Day celebration at the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Notre Dame Division 1, Swedesburg. This pipe band competes professionally, including in the All Ireland Pipe Band Competition in Kilkenny, Ireland. The concert begins at dusk.

Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau President Bill Fitzgerald comments: "Veterans Day is a time to honor the sacrifices of not only those men and women in uniform who gave their lives in service but those whose dedication continues today to keep us safe. Our indebtedness to them is immense, and we encourage everyone to make this a day of solemn honor and heartfelt thanks to our men and women in uniform," he concludes.

The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ltd. is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Bureau's website serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosting The Pursuit, a twice-weekly blog.