WILLIAMSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - This Memorial Day will be a little different for folks from a Blair County community. Thursday marks a year since the death of a Williamsburg man killed while serving in Iraq. Folks are planning a day of remembrance for Army Specialist Chad Edmundson.
Chad, 20, was part of the Army National Guard’s 56th Stryker Brigade, part of which is based at the Frankstown Armory. What started as a bike ride to honor his life has grown into something much bigger.
Unloading cases of water is just one thing on Jami Prosser's long to do list. After that, there is still plenty of work before he kicks off Chad Edmundson Remembrance Day.
Everybody uses the old cliché “they knew what they were getting into when they signed up.” They knew what they were getting into but they didn't know what they were going to get out of it,” Prosser of Duncasville said.
Prosser's sons were friends with Chad and had a rough time when the Williamsburg native was killed in Iraq last year. That's why Prosser and seven other people formed a committee to make sure Chad was never forgotten.
“He didn't die for me, he didn't die for any of the other members of the committee or Williamsburg, he died for the United States,” Prosser said.
So the first project became Chad Edmundson Remembrance Day; a mini-festival of sorts that will happen Saturday at Riverside Park in Williamsburg. At first the idea was to honor Chad with a motorcycle ride and then dedicate a statue in his name, but...
“We suggested that would be a good day to dedicate it (the statue) and through further talking thought we ought to have a little bit of food there for people, we ought to have a speaker, well we might as well have a car show, bands, and there you have it, a whole day worth,” committee member Greg Haney of Williamsburg said.
There will be games, contests and a raffle to win a brand new Honda motorcycle; but there will also be opportunities to give to the troops still fighting overseas.
“It's to remember everybody, we've got families coming from two and a half hours away who lost a service man or woman that we're going to acknowledge that day,” Prosser said.
The money raised from the event will go into the Chad Edmundson Memorial Fund. Those funds will help a military family or families in need, something Prosser says Chad would approve of.
“It will always involve the military because everyday we lose somebody, and that's our mission,” Prosser said.
The motorcycle ride kicks off the celebration on Saturday. During that ride they'll stop for a short service at Chad Edmundson's grave. They're asking people to line the road to Dry Run Cemetery in Duncansville, waving American flags in Chad’s memory.
Here is a quick rundown of the Chad Edmundson Remembrance Day festivities:
5K Run: Lower Trail Parking Area, East First Street, Registration 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., run starts at 9 a.m.
Motorcycle Dice Run: Riverside Park, registration 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., ride starts at 12:00 p.m.
Fallen Soldier Statue Dedication: 11:30 a.m., Riverside Park
Chicken Dinner: 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., $7.00 per dinner, see Williamsburg Sons of American Legion Members for tickets
Cruise In: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Riverside Park
Ricky Lee Concert: 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Felix and the Hurricanes Concert: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Honda 750 Shadow Motorcycle Raffle: 6 p.m., Riverside Park, $5 a chance, option to win $5,000 cash instead of motorcycle
For more information contact Greg Haney (832-3437), Travis Pough (832-2102), or Marvin Anderson (832-2702)