LOWER MAKEFIELD >> The 2020 Veterans Day commemoration will look a little different this year in Lower Makefield due to the pandemic.
The township, in partnership with the Lower Makefield Veterans Committee, VFW Post 6393, American Legion Post 317 and Mid Atlantic Event Group, will hold a hybrid commemorative ceremony at Veterans Square Monument on Saturday, Nov. 7 beginning at 1 p.m. The ceremony can be viewed live virtually or in person.
"Even though the parade is cancelled this year organizers felt it was important to offer something to honor and celebrate Veterans," said Parks and Recreation Director Monica Tierney.
The hybrid model will allow people to watch the ceremony at their own comfort level and in their own time. Residents, family members or neighbors can watch the ceremony either live or on demand through the township's social media and cable TV channels.
Anyone who would like to attend in person must wear a face mask and adhere to the six feet social distancing protocol.
The online ceremony can be viewed by using the following platforms:
- Verizon Channel 20 and Comcast Channel 22.
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/LowerMakefieldTownship/
In lieu of a parade marshal, the township will recognize a special veteran honoree, and for the first time in 14 years, it is a female – U.S. Army Lieutenant Ann Martin.
Lt. Martin was born in Cape Town, South Africa, then moved as a young child to Denmark, England, Germany and on to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where at the age of eight, she became a naturalized United States citizen.
When she was 13, Lt. Martin moved to Ewing, N.J., and later to Bucks County where she graduated from Pennsbury High School and received her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing at Temple University.
A few years later, Lt. Martin enlisted in the U.S. Army and attended officer training. She was assigned to the 7th Medical Command and deployed to Berlin, Germany.
With her language skills and international background, Lt. Martin was recruited by the NSA and worked as a counterintelligence operative where she passed through Checkpoint Charlie daily for a year.
She worked at the East Berlin Medic Hospital and acquired information on missing people which was critical to U.S. listening stations, defense, and diplomatic operations. She was able to fool the Stasi, the secret police of the East German Republic, during Cold War operations.
Lt. Martin completed her army career at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and Fort Dix, N.J., and was medically discharged from the U.S. Army in 1991. She resides in Lower Makefield and is the proud mother of two daughters and three grandchildren.
U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Senator Steve Santarsiero, and State Representative Perry Warren will be on hand to honor local veterans. Music will be provided by a soloist from Pennsbury High School, and the ceremony will conclude with a wreath-laying ceremony conducted by VFW Post 6393 and American Legion Post 317.
Veterans Square Monument was created between 2009 and 2014 by a dedicated group of community volunteers to honor veterans of the past, present and future and is graced by a life-size bronze eagle representing hope.
Any veteran who lived in Lower Makefield or Yardley at any time in his/her life can submit his/her name to be added to the Veterans Square Wall of Honor at no charge by visiting VeteransSquare.org or calling 267-274-1195.
More than 800 names are already represented. Any individual or organization can financially support the monument by purchasing a brick Freedom Paver or donating to Veterans Square Foundation via the same contact information.
The commemorative ceremony will be held unless there is heavy rain or lightning.