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Posts Tagged ‘Cpl Ben F. McEvoy’

9:30 AM comes pretty early on any Monday morning, but for some reason it didn’t seem that early on this particular day.  This was the day a lot of people have been anticipating.   This was the day the Cpl McEvoy was finally going to have a stone to mark his final resting place!

Jim and I arrived at Woodward Hill Cemetery about 9:15 and found that people were assembling.  Chairs were set up for the family in front of the gravesite, chairs for the dignitaries next to the gravesite, State Troopers were lining up, Bagpipers were assembling and cameras were being focused by a TV station and the State Trooper Organization.  It was busyness with family greeting one another, State Troopers introducing themselves to the family and final details were being ironed out.  Before we knew it, the ceremony began with the State Troopers marching in from the right.  What an impressive site!IMG_0009
There were two different Honor Guards, one from the Lancaster City Police and the other from the Pennsylvania State Troopers. The one pictured below is from Lancaster.IMG_0013
. . . and the State Trooper’s Department Ceremonial Unit Members which did the Presentation of Colors.IMG_0017After the National Anthem was sung and Invocation was given, Trooper Kelly A. Osborne-Filson (yes, this is Trooper Kelly I’ve referred to in all the posts) read Cpl McEvoy’s biography.  Seated behind Kelly is Chaplain Grover G. DeVault, Pennsylvania State Police Chaplain and Lancaster City Police Chief, Keith Sadler.IMG_0022Captain Brenda M. Bernot, Commanding Officer of Troop J spoke of Cpl McEvoy’s sacrifice and presented the new headstone along with Terry McEvoy, grandson of the deceased McEvoy.   Mr. McEvoy then placed the Memorial Wreath, which was provided by the Pennsylvania State Police Academy Civic Association,  next to the new headstone.  The headstone was donated by Haldy/Keener Memorials, a division of Gingrich Memorials.IMG_0023 Members of Pennsylvania State Police Troop J made up the Firing Detail which fired 3 rounds (see the smoke??) and Trooper Louis P. Gober of Troop M played Taps. IMG_0032The amazing Chester County Emerald Society Pipe Band gave a simply amazing rendition of, what else but, Amazing Grace!  There really is nothing like a bugle playing Taps and a group of bagpies playing Amazing Grace to make goosebumps pop up at a Funeral or a Memorial Service.  This one had both!

Appreciating the music is a granddaughter of Cpl.  McEvoy.

IMG_0045 The service closed with a benediction and closing remarks by Lt. William P. White. He led the Troopers (and anyone else who desired to) in the “Call of Honor,” the Pennsylvania State Trooper’s creed, motto or whatever the term they use for the . . .

Call of Honor

I am a Pennsylvania State Trooper; a soldier of the law.  To me
is entrusted the honor of the force. I must serve honestly, faithfully,
and if need be, lay down my life as others have done before me,
rather than swerve from the of duty  It is my duty to obey the law
and to enforce it without any consideration of class, color, creed,
or condition. It is also my duty to be of service to anyone who may
be in danger or distress, and at all times so conduct myself that the
Honor of the Force may be upheld.

After the service, photo opportunties  were taken advantage of!  The first and most important?  Why it is the family and Kelly around the new stone!  Kelly is the one in the State Trooper uniform (as if you the reader couldn’t figure that one out!)

The girl behind the headstone in the black dress and white sweater is the great-granddaughter of Cpl. McEvoy.  Hallie Romanowski, is wearing her grandmother’s dress (Cpl. McEvoy’s daughter, Martha) and brought Martha’s scrapbook.  That scrapbook was full of wonderful family information.  Martha even kept a copy of the original report of the accident that took McEvoy’s life.

I’d love to put names with the faces, but all I know are Hallie’s, Terry McEvoy on the far left, and his sister, Vicky , in the black, next to Hallie.IMG_0057

A wonderful photo op would be the next photo. Terry McEvoy and the flag that had been presented to him is in the middle behind his grandfather’s new headstone. He is surrounded by the Ceremonial Unit Members. Isn’t this a great photo??IMG_0059

This chapter would not be complete with a picture of Trooper Kelly standing next to the headstone that would not be there today if it were not for her!  Corporal Ben F. McEvoy will now be remembered through the ages, thanks to one Pennsylvania State Trooper who just would not give up!  It was her sheer determination that brought us all together at Woodward Hill Cemetery on that overcast Monday morning in September.IMG_0047

The morning ended with what else but food and socialization at the Troop J, Lancaster Headquarters.  The Pennsylvania State Police really know how to honor their own, and in doing so has shown a family that their ancestor was just as important to others as he was to them!  It was a great morning and a beautiful ceremony.  This was a fitting end to the final chapter in honoring

Cpl. Ben F. McEvoy, Pennsylvania State Trooper.

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The blogs dealing with this story from the very beginning can be accessed at the following links:

http://tr.im/mCly
http://tr.im/mWSR
http://tr.im/o0Eg
http://tr.im/yV3t

Thank you for following the story.  It’s been a pleasure being the “storyteller!”


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Pic_13When State Trooper Kelly had come into the Historical Society several weeks ago she left with a stack of papers pertaining to the family of Cpl McEvoy.  We had learned his two children had since died and their obituaries named their children, grandchildren of Cpl. McEvoy.

Since her goal was to get as much information on this State Trooper, and perhaps a good picture of him to place on the Wall of Honor, she wanted to contact one of them . . . and she did!  She telephoned his grandson, Terry, and left a message on his answering machine.  Before she was able to contact him again he had googled his grandfather’s name and came up with my previous blogs and sent me an e-mail. 

We then knew the family was interested and Kelly called him and set up an appointment to go visit him.  The date was set for June 9th and she invited me to go along.  There was not a question in my mind!  

Monday, June 9th:

Cpl McEvoy’s Grandson:

We located his address on a map and headed out to the Northern part of the county to meet Cpl McEvoy’s grandson.  This was the next step and Kelly was as excited as I was.  When we arrived, he invited us in and we introduced ourselves (although Kelly needed no introduction since she was in uniform!)  We sat and explained what we had done and what Kelly wanted to do for his grandfather.  He told us that the family had no idea where he had been buried since his grandmother had died shortly after his grandfather, leaving his father an orphan at 9 years of age!  

Terry shared some wonderful pictures of his grandfather with us and I am sharing them with you, the reader of this blog, with his permission.  The picture at the top of this post shows Cpl McEvoy on his horse.  At the time the picture was taken he was the 30th Trooper stationed out of the Pottsville Barracks.  How did we know that?  

McEvoy30C

Pennsylvania State Police Historical Society:

The picture above shows the number “30” and the letter “C” before it.  The “C” was the Troop stationed at the Pottsville Barracks and the “30” was his number that was assigned to him when he reported to the Pottsville Barracks.  When and if he left, he’d assume the next available number at the new Barracks and leave “30” behind for the next person who reported.  He would take his horse, however.

. . . and where did I learn all of that?  In Hershey at The Pennsylvania State Police Historical, Educational and Memorial Center!  After we left Terry’s home we headed to the State Police Academy and the PSP site listed above.  The Museum was well worth the trip, but the information I learned from the woman there was priceless!  I also learned that the hat Cpl McEvoy is wearing on the picture below was fashioned in the style of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and hence is called, yes, a “Rough Rider Hat!”

Rough Rider

Kelly had a packet of the paperwork, census records, marriage license, obituaries and various newspaper accounts and gave it to the Historical Society, along with the pictures she had just received by his grandson.  They are the only pictures the Historical Society has.  

McEvoy Family

The picture of his family was taken in 1914 when his son, Shea, was a baby.  Shea is in the lap of his older sister, Martha.

Pennsylvania State Police Academy:

After we left the Historical Society we drove up the driveway to the front of the Offices for the Academy.  Outside of the building is a beautiful memorial wall which lists all of the Troopers who died in the line of duty.  McEvoy’s name is in the first column.

Memorial Wall

We took a short tour of the building to see the wall inside that has a short bio and a picture (if available) of each Trooper named on this wall.  There is only a silhouette for Cpl. McEvoy presently, but there soon will be one with the pictures that were given to the Archives today!

pic

 . . . and the best picture of all!  Ben F. McEvoy had another life outside of the Pennsylvania State Police.  We all do, so it came as no surprise.  What was a surprise was what he did.  The picture below shows Ben with his Violin.  Yes, he was a Violinist!  

Violinist

What a great picture of a man who’s life was cut so short!

Stay tuned for Chapter 4!   

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