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THE MAYOR’S REPORT: Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and ‘Shop Small’




What a beautiful Sunday afternoon in G-A! The weekend has been so exciting as we give thanks during this Thanksgiving season. Take a break with me. Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s visit the community as the leaves continue to fall during this colorful autumn season.

What the speaker said: ‘Not all heroes wear capes’: Service lauded on Veterans Day in Greencastle

The weekend prior we commemorated Veterans Day with an appropriate program in front of the Veterans Memorial at 60 N. Washington Street. United States Air Force Lt. Colonel Daniel Gebhart spoke about his family’s heritage and service to our nation. I encourage veterans and their families to talk to our younger generation regarding your veterans’ families’ roles in support of our freedoms. On Nov. 9 the G-A School District presented “Honoring our Heroes: A Veterans Day Tribute.” An estimated 30-plus members of the local Witmer family were there to honor the Witmer brothers who served in our armed forces and their siblings. Congratulations, students, for a well-researched and organized program.

On Nov. 10, I had the honor of spending the afternoon with Army Air Corps veteran Sam Worley who is 102 years of age. Mr. Worley and my dad served in the Army Air Corps in Europe and were very good friends. Sam became a banker and helped my father go in business here in Franklin County following World War II. On Nov. 12, I attended a moving service at Praying Time Ministries on Railroad Street entitled “For God & Country, Veterans Day, Honoring All Those Who Served.” Challenge coins were presented to all veterans present.

Writing about veterans, have you ever heard of “the hello girls” who enlisted in the Army at the beginning of World War I and were shipped to France as telephone operators in support of the war effort? I’ll write about these brave women in a future Mayor’s Report.

See the pictures: Let’s be jolly! Festive crowd attends tree-lighting ceremony in Greencastle

We began this past weekend Friday night with a wonderful tree-lighting ceremony. Thank you, chamber of commerce, the sponsors, Greencastle, and Antrim Township municipalities for your help. The Square was packed with citizens. The warm temperatures reminded me of Old Home Week for this event. Fire police and Greencastle PD assisted with traffic control and kept us safe.

Saturday’s Christmas parade was well attended with 100 registrants in the line-up. Greencastle Police Chief John Phillippy led the parade as he has been involved with parade logistics during his 42-year career in law enforcement. John is retiring in early January. Thank you, Chief Phillippy, for your many years of service. I have a feeling that John will continue serving G-A in the future. Near the end of the parade was the G-A High School band proudly displaying their Cavalcade of Bands 2023 Liberty A Class Championship banner. Congratulations band members!

As I made several visits last week to Greencastle Police Headquarters, citizens were donating to the GPD food drive to benefit the Greencastle-Antrim food pantry. Donations were accepted at headquarters through Nov. 20. It is never too late to donate to one of the several food pantries at G-A churches. Remember these public service programs, especially in the new year.

Meanwhile, this weekend is “Shop Small Saturday” across the United States. But wait, there’s more! As mayor I designate the rest of November and all of December as Shop Small in Greencastle. There is free parking downtown and plenty of free parking lots around town. Join me this coming Saturday as we support the mom-and-pop businesses that support us. We have some new businesses that have joined our anchor stores. Did you know that some of our locally owned businesses in G-A have been here for 80 plus years?!! Let’s show our appreciation by shopping locally for the rest of this year and into 2024.

I do hope that you’re able to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. Call someone on Thanksgiving and have a conversation or two or three.

As the sun is going down earlier and earlier, it’s time to go for a walk. For the many things I have written about this afternoon, we are certainly blessed.  

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