by Anna Louise Bates, PhD, Church Historian
The New Paltz Methodist Church historically celebrates and supports military veterans and active service members. This is particularly clear in a news article from the May 30, 1946 New Paltz Times. The article describes a celebration given by the church’s Service Flag Committee (which worked at spreading cheer to members of the church who were in the military) for those who served in World War 2.
Honored servicemen each stood and gave their name, branch and division of service, to rounds of sincere and heartfelt applause. Clearly, these service members meant much to the church community:
As each stood it was somewhat difficult to see in these seasoned veterans the young lads (and lass, there was one WAC, Dorothy McCormick) who came so faithfully to Sunday School and the Epworth League only a few short years ago.New Paltz Times, May 30, 1946
Besides McCormick, honored veterans included George Smith, Edwin Curtis, Donald Wiseman, Leslie Oakley, Herbert Wyndham, Kenneth DePuy, George Lowe, William Lowe, Francis Hasbrouck, George Brannen, Harold Van de Voort, Maurice Miller, Herbert Van Sicklen, Jr., and Earl Crans.
The gala event featured a Virginia ham dinner and an impressive entertainment program that included group songs, skits, and vocal and instrumental solo performances. At this time of renewed hostilities in Europe in the form of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we pray that things will not escalate to another devastating World War. We are also reminded of our congregation’s commitment to honor those who serve our nation.