In this Update:
Celebrating York County’s Four Chaplains Memorial
In February, I joined my Senate colleague, York County Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), in recognizing Four Chaplains Day in Pennsylvania. I was again honored to join her on May 11 in York County to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the county’s Four Chaplains Memorial. It was such a special event honoring the Four Chaplains while raising funds for scholarships to support our next generation of leaders.
For those who don’t know the history of the Four Chaplains, in the early morning hours of Feb. 3, 1942, the USAT Dorchester, a former luxury coastal liner converted into an Army transport ship, was torpedoed by a German U-boat.
At the time, the Dorchester was carrying 902 servicemen, merchant seamen, and civilian workers. The strike by the torpedo well below the ship’s water line killed scores of men and wounded many more, creating chaos on board as the ship began to sink.
Four Army chaplains – Father John P. Washington, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, and the Revs. George L. Fox and Clark V. Poling – attempted to restore calm while also tending to the wounded and guiding the disoriented toward safety.
The four men gave up their life jackets so that others might live, with some of the 203 survivors of the attack telling of the bravery of the chaplains, who were last seen at the ship’s stern, arms linked in prayer.
The story is particularly personal to me as one of those who lost their lives during that attack was 21-year-old Private Robert Maurice Pittman, my great-uncle.
The event raised money for scholarships for students attending the Alexander D. Goode School, named after one of the Four Chaplains, and featured inspiring words from Army SSG Travis Mills, who provided the event’s keynote address.
Alle Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce Luncheon
I was pleased to address the members of the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon this week at the Kittanning Country Club.
We discussed the upcoming state budget as well as the importance of stopping Gov. Tom Wolf’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the tax it will impose on all Pennsylvanians, driving up the cost of their electricity and any product or service that is dependent on electricity.
We also talked about ensuring our energy independence, in addition to economic and political issues that are directly impacting the region.
Thank you to Lynda Pozzuto and the Chamber for hosting me.
Help Available for Historical Records Care
Area historical societies, libraries and other records repositories can apply now for state grants to improve the preservation of historically valuable records.
The Historical & Archival Records Care grant program provides funding assistance for surveying, inventorying, preserving, arranging and describing historical records significant to Pennsylvania, as well as for records reformatting and equipment.
The competitive grant program is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the official history agency of Pennsylvania. The application deadline is Aug. 1.
Tips for Cars and Motorcycles Sharing the Road
As warmer weather brings more motorcycles to our roadways, it’s a good time to consider some safety tips for sharing the road:
There were 3,578 crashes involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania roadways in 2021, resulting in 226 fatalities, an increase in both from 2020. For more information on motorcycle safety, visit the PennDOT website.
Watching the Development of the Capital’s Young Peregrine Falcons
Pennsylvanians are tracking the development of young peregrine falcons nesting on a ledge of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg.
The live Falcon Cam provides a window into the lives of the falcon nestlings and adult birds. The peregrine falcon was removed from the federal Endangered Species List in 1999 and the Pennsylvania Threatened List in 2021 but remains federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the state Game and Wildlife Code. Eighty-three falcons have hatched in Harrisburg since reproduction began in 2000.
The birds are banded and tracked throughout North America by biologists and birdwatchers.
Falcons born on the ledge at the Rachel Carson building have been tracked to Florida and Canada. The next phase should start around May 22, as these falcons attempt their first flights.
Lowering Your Risk of Skin Cancer
With more than five million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, skin cancer is America’s most common cancer. Fortunately, it is also one of the most preventable.
Reducing your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can lower your chances of getting skin cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone can get skin cancer, but people with certain characteristics are at greater risk, such as a lighter natural skin color, certain types and a large number of moles, a family history of skin cancer and more.
You can learn about ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer here.
National Police Week
This week is National Police Week, which was established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962 to honor those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
We remember and honor those who so bravely paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
Thank you to the brave men and women who serve on the front lines of law enforcement. We are grateful for your dedication and commitment to protecting our communities.
Honoring the Work of EMS Personnel
This week, we celebrate the men and women who serve our community during the worst or most challenging moments, and who ensure their patients receive high-quality, compassionate and lifesaving care.
Members of EMS teams, whether career or volunteer, engage in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their skills. We owe them our gratitude for their time and dedication.
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