Wreaths Across America 2018

Wreaths Across America will be held once more at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hanover, Penn, York, Pennsylvania located at 725 Baltimore Street. Join your community to celebrate and honor all the men and women who served from the French and Indian War to today’s conflicts.

                    Saturday, December 15, 2018 beginning at 11:45 AM. Placing of the                          wreaths will follow the brief ceremony. The event is held ‘rain or shine.’              Directions to the cemetery can be found on the cemetery website, http://www.mtolivetcemeteryassociation.org. 

In the few years I have attended this ceremony, I somehow feel a connection to my ancestors who served their country. I am grateful for their sacrifices and courage. So bring your scarves, gloves, hats as the cemetery is a wide open space and the wind is, well, cold. Grandparents, this is a great experience to share with your grandchildren, too!


Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America emblemWreaths Across America got its start in Hanover about 5 years ago and is growing stronger each year. This year’s event will be held once more at Mount Olivet Cemetery located at 725 Baltimore Street in Hanover, PA on Saturday, December 16 beginning about 10:30 AM with the reading of veterans’ names, and stopping for a moment of silence about noon.  A short program will be held before placing of the wreaths. This year the placing of the wreaths will include veterans buried in the adjacent St. Joseph Catholic Church Cemetery.

I am not the mother of military children, but discovered several of my ancestors who served as early as the War of 1812. This discovery began with this cute tombstone of Ida 100_5434May Sherman. My curiosity got the best of me, and now I cannot stop researching the cemetery and wondering, ‘who else might I find here?’

Who do you know buried within the confines of the cemetery? I would love to know.


Pet Memorial Service and Pet Blessing

Just 38 days and counting…

On Sunday, September 10, 2017 beginning at 2 PM in Pet Haven Cemetery and Ossuary at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Hanover, Pennsylvania the 13th annual Pet Blessing and Memorial Service will be held.

The public is invited and there is no fee to attend. Pet owners come together for this annual event for many reasons – perhaps to heal, to mourn, or to be surrounded by others for support. Pets and their owners are invited to attend and pets will have the opportunity to be blessed.

A variety of pet related vendors will showcase their services, and we encourage visitors to take time to learn about them.

The event is rain or shine. Please bring a lawn chair with you, and enjoy the event. It lasts about one hour. We hope to see you on September 10th. Feel free to share with your friends.


Soldiers Monument 106 Years Old

Soldiers Monument
Soldiers Monument, c1911

The making of the majestic Soldiers Monument was an impressive project for the early 1900s, and stands proudly in Old Section B of Mount Olivet Cemetery.

An article published in the Evening Sun dated May 27, 1961, page 1 stated “…it was pointed out that no town of its size had been more patriotic than Hanover in times of national peril.”  The article continues to mention the numbers of citizens sent to defend our country in war. Hanover sent at least 317 citizens into the Union Army in the Civil War.

Mount Olivet Cemetery has traditionally been the end destination of the annual Memorial Day parades. Initially, the Memorial Day observances took place at Richard McAllister’s grave site to honor and remember those men and women who defended our country.  Today, the observance is held at the Soldiers Monument just inside the gates of Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Prior to 1911, Malcolm O. Smith and J. H. Bucher spearheaded the project to build and erect a monument.  In 1911 the dedication of the Soldiers Monument was planned for Memorial Day, but had to be rescheduled due to a deliver delay of granite from a quarry in Guilford, Maryland for the base of the monument. So, on July 28, 1911, the dedication was made.

Hanover craftsmen provided most of the work that went into creating the monument.

  • Design and drawings were prepared by E. Leonard Koller, son of the Rev. Dr. J. C. Koller, then pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Hanover (1877-1906) and Civil War veteran.
  • Charles F. Redding, stone cutter, erected the monument.
  • Malcolm O. Smith, local newspaper editor and former commander of Post 99 Grand Army of the Republic, with J. H. Bucher were responsible for the original planning of the monument and generating community support.
  • FYI…the cannons are replicas, from accounts I have read. A visit to this site a few weeks ago revealed that one of the cannons is home to a nest of birds from deep within the cannon.

The bronze soldier was created by a Philadelphia foundry, which also created the bronze statue better known as ‘The Picket’ which graces Hanover’s downtown. A quarry in Guilford, Maryland was the source of the granite.

For 106 years, this monument endured all types of weather and continues to stand strong and proud over all who are buried in this fine cemetery.

Don’t forget…Monday, May 29, 2017 is Memorial Day.

Sharing through stories

Typically I would be writing about veterans who are buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, or offlag-salute-silhouette an event that is about to occur. Today, I want to share a brief story that I found in the obituary section of the York Daily Record newspaper.

A project that I work on for the York County History Center in Pennsylvania is developing a database of World War II veterans who are buried in or are from York County, Pennsylvania. This project is rewarding and sometimes sad. One of today’s obituaries that I clipped caught my attention, and I want to share it with you.

It was spring and graduation for a York area high school had just ended. Two days after graduating, several young male graduates decided that they would join the Merchant Marines. One of these men was Harold Fink.

As a mother of several boys, I do not know how I would have reacted. According to his obituary, young Harold was aboard ship off the coast of Japan when the atomic bomb was deployed. I cannot imagine this scene from the perspective of a young person.

His story ended well. He later enlisted in the U. S. Army Combat Engineers, later retiring as a Major. He married and probably lived a good life. I bet Harold had good stories to tell, too.

I often hear, and say myself, ‘why didn’t I take time to talk to my uncles and parents about their lives‘? If I had known Harold, what a story he probably had to tell!

The York County History Center is host to a program where veterans can tell their story and have it taped so that generations of people can listen to their experiences. If you are a veteran, or know of one, why not contact the York County History Center to learn more. And, do not overlook your local cemeteries. The cemeteries are filled with educational and inspiring memorials of veterans dating back many years.



Did You Know?

A few facts about military veterans who live or are buried throughout York County …

  • There approximately 40,000 military veterans living in York County. A few of those are as follows:
    • 6,910 York Countians served during World War I
    • Over 1000 Civil War Soldiers are buried in York County’s largest cemetery, Prospect Hill Cemetery
    • 571 or more York Countians were associated with World War II
    • 1 out of every 515 Americans killed in Vietnam came from York County
    • York County has over two dozen American Legion and VFW Posts

The facts above are just some of the numbers researched by volunteers at the York County History Center in York, Pennsylvania. These numbers may change with the ongoing research.

ALLVETS is an organization dedicated to the recording of oral histories of York County’s veterans. About 15 oral histories have been recorded. To learn more, you may contact the York County History Center at 250 East Market Street in downtown York.

Hanover is blessed to have organizations dedicated to serving and honoring our veterans. If you see an event that is being held to help our veterans here or who are serving, open your hearts to give your support.