Bethel Fife and Drum chapter of DAR dedicating tree to Vietnam vets

Published May 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm (Updated May 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm)

As part of the Memorial Day weekend remembrance of America’s veterans, the Bethel Fife and Drum Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be dedicating a tree to veterans of the Vietnam War at the Bethel Park Veterans Memorial.

The tree dedication ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. May 24 at the memorial located on the grounds of the municipal building at 5100 West Library Avenue. Municipal officials, as well as representatives of several veterans groups, are expected to participate, and the public is encouraged to attend.

The tree, which is being donated by Jim Jenkins Lawn and Garden, will be marked with a plague honoring all who bravely served their country during the Vietnam War. That includes veterans who returned home, those unaccounted for as POW-MIA and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, chapter officials said.

Gail Matus, Vice-Regent of the Bethel Fife and Drum Chapter, said the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War is occurring during the years 2013 through 2025, and that the members of the organization want to make sure the Vietnam veterans know that their service is not forgotten.

“We want to try and give them flowers while they are still living,” Matus said.

Among those expected to attend the ceremony is Bethel Park Mayor Jack Allen, a Vietnam veteran.

“It think it is pretty great,” Allen said of the organization’s plan to dedicate the tree.

The Bethel Fife and Drum Chapter, is named in part after the Fife family, early settlers to the region, Matus explained. Several members of the Fife family fought in the Revolutionary War.

Members of the chapter plan also to march in the Annual Bethel Park Memorial Day Parade scheduled for May 26.

Chapter members recently participated in the 117th annual state conference in Pittsburgh.

The chapter’s activities for the year have included: supporting Project Journey, a program to assist recently discharged female veterans; the Veterans Banner Project; sending care packages to active military, and supporting Project Patriot, a national program.

The DAR, founded in 1890, and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-politcal volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children. Each of the organization’s members has traced her ancestry to an American Revolution Patriot.

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