Towamencin Honors Veterans Day at Morgan Log House
A small, intimate ceremony for Veterans Day was held on the grounds outside Morgan Log House Sunday morning. The township is planning on making ceremonies for Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Flag Day annual events at the historic property
Veterans Rob Ford and Dan Littley looped Old Glory around the rope on a flagpole outside Morgan Log House Sunday morning in Towamencin, and saluted her as she was raised up the pole.
A tiny gathering of other veterans and citizens followed suit, proud to pay their respects on Veterans Day.
"This is a day where the services of the military are one," said Littley. "We want to try and establish a setting here for our ceremony for Veterans Day."
The Morgan Log House has existed at its location since around 1708, when it was deeded in a land purchase by Daniel Boone's grandfather, Edward Morgan.
Its history goes back to William Penn himself, who granted 600 acres to Griffith Jones in 1702 in the property's first deed.
Today, the property and house is owned by Towamencin Township. Welsh Valley Preservation Society signed a lease agreement with the township in 1975 to preserve, restore, administer and maintain the property.
Undoubtedly, Morgan Log House has stood along what is now Weikel Road through all the major U.S. conflicts; The Revolutionary War would be the most poignant and significant conflict to affect Towamencin Township.
Littley said Morgan Log House director Sarah Desantis is working with Welsh Valley Preservation Society (formerly Towamencin Historical Society) and the township to lay out plans and tie things together for an annual event. He said the township plans to hold future honorable events at Morgan Log House, including Memorial Day and Flag Day.
"We want to invite the residents to bring torn and tattered flags and have a ceremony here as a destruction of flags, in the proper way," Littley said.
Littley served from 1961 to 1988 in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of major.
The township supervisor experienced the pain and horror of Vietnam from 1965 to 1966, where he was with the SAC ADVON unit. During this tenure, Littley was part of Operation Ranch Hand, which sprayed defoliants (herbicides) — commonly known as Agent Orange — from C-123 planes. The purpose of the herbicidal warfare was to deprive the Vietnamese people of food and vegetation cover.
Also at the ceremony was Towamencin Supervisor Jim Sinz, a former Navy captain (1969-1994) who was in Vietnam in 1972 as part of the VP-2 patrol squadron.
Towamencin Township Manager Ford was also in the Navy for 30 years, retiring in 2009 as a captain. Ford was in The Gulf War (Desert Storm) as a bombardier navigator on a Grumman A-6 Intruder bomber, the workhorse of the Navy fleet.
Littley — who also was a B-47 Stratojet bomber crew chief — and Sinz tend to spend Veterans Day thinking of all their buddies who didn't come back from Vietnam.
"My wife's brother was the best man at my wedding," Littley said. "He was killed the day after Christmas in 1969 in Vietnam. I look at this day as a day to honor those who have fallen."
Like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Littley said, is designed to honor all vets, both living and dead, who served in the military — be it lifers or two-year soliders.
"There is a camaraderie of veterans in general across all services," Sinz said. "It was a great thing to work together. Different services are unique in their own way, but those joint exercises were nice. They called it 'purple military' and you'd see that especially on Special Ops."
Ford said he spends Veterans Day thinking of all the people he knew from his time in the service — civilians, reserves and active duty included.
"You share something with a fellow vet," Ford said. "You go back and think of what you did years ago."
All three have no regrets of their choice to serve their country.
"I had heart-pounding assignments and lousy assignments," Littley said. "When I enlisted, the best job you could get in Chester County at the time was changing streetlights for 90 cents an hour."