for the love of god and country: the ceremony at ebenezer

dsc_9202Today’s ceremony at the ruins of Ebenezer A.M.E. on Bacton Hill Road today literally made me cry.  I was so overcome with emotion that the ruin and cemetery are finally getting well-deserved recognition and attention.  #thisplacematters , all 184 years of it.

dsc_9253When I got to the graveyard, people were assembling. Media, neighbors, passers-by who decided to pull over and stop, descendants of those souls buried there, a representative from the East Whiteland Historical Commission, some of my “Ladies of Ebenezer”, the Willistown Troop 78 Scouts, Luke Phayre the Eagle Scout and his family (including his mom Kathy and grandfather) , many local veterans, three member of the East Whiteland Police Department,  WCU Student Veterans Group members, and  Al Terrell.

dsc_9082It was so overwhelming to me, it truly was such a beautiful sight. It was indeed something I was not sure I would ever see and among other things I so wished Ann Christie had lived long enough to see this happen – which is why some of the Ladies of Ebenezer were there today – we had made Ann a promise because she truly loved the site and had tried for years before my interest to get to this point.  We also felt today we were able to honor her, along with the black Civil War soldiers and other souls buried at Ebenezer. After so many decades of truly wanton neglect, these people were honored.

dsc_9300It was long overdue, but our very history is often such a cruel mistress.

dsc_9108Our ceremony was opened by Luke Phayre. He spoke about his project and thanked people who have been helping him.  He spoke very well and is truly a poised and wonderful young man.

dsc_9088Captain Howard A. Crawford, USAF, MSC (Ret) who is the Commander of the West Chester American Legion Post 134 (Bernard Schlegel Post) spoke simply and eloquently

“We’re here today to honor Civil War soldiers…African American soldiers that died…[who] weren’t given the honors of a true [military] burial.”

dsc_9273His son played taps for the soldiers on a bugle.  Veterans gave a military rifle salute, and if memory serves I think it is called a three volley salute.

dsc_9149And East Whiteland Police Department sent three representatives.  These fine gentlemen came in full uniform and participated.  I was so touched that they wanted to do this, especially today when they were on their way to bury a former brother officer who had served with them and passed away.  At a time in this country when people are so darn critical of our men in blue – like those Bryn Mawr College students this week for example – I think these are the quiet moments that most police critics tend to overlook that speak volumes as to the characters of those who serve. Bravo, East Whiteland Police Department. Such a generous gesture on your own day of loss.

dsc_9317In a nation currently torn asunder by varying political factions and beliefs, those of us involved at Ebenezer are humbled by this kind gesture on the part of Chester County veterans and local police and others who believe in our quest to save Ebenezer and honor those buried here.

Today we saw people leave their politics at home and come together. It was such a poignant and beautiful thing to be part of the week before Thanksgiving. This is what it means to come together and be Americans. There was no race, creed, color, or political divide we were all just Americans coming together to honor our dead. It was so inspiring and true and good a thing. Days like this give us all hope.

Thanks for stopping by.  Read the Daily Local tomorrow too.

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to cowards who run over dogs and keep driving 

 

Dear Cowards who hit the dog on W. King Road this afternoon:

Here is the dog you hit.  She’s a pretty little girl isn’t she? She is beloved to her humans and right now she’s at an emergency vet fighting to stay with her people.

Yes, she got out. It was an accident, it happens. But you hit this precious little dog and kept driving! How can anyone with a heart or soul or a conscience do that? How could you have not stopped and pulled over?

What is wrong with you that you did not stop? 

Everyone else around you stopped.

You know you hit this dog and you kept on driving.  

Accidents happen, it’s how you deal with them that makes all the difference.

Please contact East Whiteland Police Department and own up to this. At least to apologize to the family. 

To anyone else who is reading this post:

This little dog was hit on W. King Rd. mid afternoon this afternoon. If you know anything or you have any details on whomever it is that hit this dog please contact East Whiteland Police Department. 

It was an accident, a horrible accident but the kids who went into the road to get the dog could have been hit by traffic if other people hadn’t stopped.

God bless the nice couple who stopped and helped the mom and her children get the dog to an emergency vet.

We are all hoping that St. Francis is watching  over this beloved pet and she continues to hold her own. We asked that any animal lovers out there whisper a little prayer for this sweet little dog.

And to those who travel back-and-forth on W. King Rd. please slow down. No one pays enough attention to the speed limit and it is so easy to fly from the edge of Immaculata’s  campus out past the Little League field. Next time it might be a human being who is hit and we don’t want that.

Now that the weather is nice W. King Rd. is dangerously busy seven days a week, especially when there are activities like all the Little League games. 

People are in too much of a hurry. 

Slow down… please.

And again, if anyone knows who hit this poor little dog please contact East Whiteland Police Department. It’s the right thing to do. We should still live in a world where occasionally people do the right thing.

Thank you.

police department hopscotch in malvern….again

malvernPardon my questions, but I haven’t lived out here long enough to learn how it all rolls.  Today I would like to know if Malvern Borough seems to get its police chiefs from East Whiteland, then why isn’t there  just a combined force serving the Borough of Malvern and East Whiteland?  Don’t eliminate jobs, just put both departments together under one chief?

Anyway, it just seems odd.  I remember not so long ago they were talking about eliminating Malvern’s police department, weren’t they? But if the Borough can’t seem to keep a Chief of Police what the heck goes on in the Borough?  Hopscotch?

New Police Chief Named in Malvern Borough

Louis Marcelli, a sergeant with the East Whiteland Police, has replaced Mark Ercole as the head of the borough’s police department.

By Pete Kennedy Email the author March 11, 2013

The Malvern Police Department has a new leader.

Louis Marcelli, a sergeant in the East Whiteland Police Department, has assumed the role of acting police chief.

Marcelli took command March 6, according to Malvern Mayor Jerry McGlone. The previous chief, Mark Ercole, has returned to East Whiteland…….Ercole had been brought in to replace Chief Michael McMahon, whose termination followed a tumultuous period during which borough officials were considering disbanding the department. Ultimately, borough council opted instead for a change of leadership….East Whiteland Township is also providing police chief services to the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department through June.

wow malvern borough sure is confusing….

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File under who’s on first and comings and goings – One chief leaving, old chief suing…good thing East Whiteland always has someone to spare for Malvern Borough….

Police Chief to Leave Malvern PD

Chief Mark Ercole will leave the Malvern Police Department in June, and it’s not clear who will take his place.

By Pete Kennedy Email the author 1:00 am

Malvern Police Chief Mark Ercole will return to the East Whiteland Police Department when the contract that brought him to the borough expires in June.

At a Borough Council meeting Tuesday night, Malvern Mayor Jerry McGlone said that Ercole had “respectfully requested that the borough not re-up the contract.” Ercole was an EWPD lieutenant when the borough and East Whiteland Township struck a one-year contract in 2012 for his services as police chief.

The borough is pursuing a similar contract with East Whiteland Township to bring another EWPD officer on as chief, but no plans have been finalized.

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Meanwhile….

Main Line Suburban Life > News

Fired Malvern police chief files lawsuit against the borough; heads to hearing

Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2013

By Richard Ilgenfritz
rilgenfritz@mainlinemedianews.com

The former Malvern police chief who was fired from his position last year has filed a federal lawsuit against borough and both sides are due in court Wednesday for a hearing in front of federal District Judge Joel H. Slomsky.

In November, Michael McMahon filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia naming the borough of Malvern, the individual members of the borough council and the mayor as defendants.

Wednesday morning both sides were scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on the borough’s motion to dismiss on grounds that McMahon failed to state a claim in the lawsuit.

In the suit, McMahon, through his attorney, Brian M. Puricelli, claims that the borough officials violated McMahon’s civil rights under the first and 14th amendments to the United States Constitution as well as Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution, the Pennsylvania Whistle Blower Statute, and the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation act.

“The Borough acted negligently, grossly negligently, recklessly, purposefully, intentionally, and/or with deliberate indifference, causing and proximately causing injuries and harm to McMahon,” the complaint reads in part. Among the claims McMahon is arguing is that he was wrongfully terminated and cites a conspiracy on the part of borough officials….McMahon, a retired Philadelphia police officer for 26 years, was hired by the borough of Malvern to be its police chief in 2001, according to the civil complaint filed by McMahon. Prior to going to Malvern, McMahon was also a police chief in Coatesville for three years. According to his complaint, McMahon was being paid $91,000 a year with an additional $1,000 a month for health insurance at the time he was fired.

 

Well look on the bright side, they have a farmers’ market come spring time and maybe some day developer Eli Kahn will run for mayor…..and if we’re really lucky they will fix all those broken and heaved up sidewalks in the business district too….