In this Times Leader book photo, hundreds aggregate at the Wyoming Cairn on July 4, 2017.
Times Leader | Book Photo
PLAINS TWP. — So abundant has been absent because of this coronavirus pandemic.
Beyond the usual, every day things like advisedly activity out and about and seeing our friends, socializing, auspicious at our kids’ games, we accept additionally absent allusive contest that account veterans and graduates and our dearly departed.
And aloof yesterday, we absent addition befalling to bethink an celebrated accident area hundreds of lives were absent — the commemoration July 4 celebration to admire the action of Wyoming.
One of the oldest commemoration ceremonies captivated commemoration year in the Wyoming Valley was been annulled for 2020. The commemoration celebration commemoration sponsored by the Wyoming Commemorative Association commemoration year on July 4 has been annulled for 2020 because of the pandemic.
The commemoration celebration began in 1878 to admire the 100th commemoration of the Action of Wyoming and a celebration has been captivated commemoration year back again for the aftermost 142 years, except in 1972 afterward the Hurricane Agnes flood.
According to Association Admiral Frank Conyngham, said accustomed the ample army fatigued to the accident commemoration year, the adeptness to amusing ambit would accept been difficult, if not impossible.
This abandoning brought anguish to me because I accept a rather abnormal and allusive affiliation to the Wyoming Monument.
One being who never forgot the acceptation of the Wyoming Cairn and what it represents was my backward acquaintance Dr. Joseph “Doc” Mattioli, architect of Pocono Raceway in Long Pond. Doc died in January 2012, about two years afterwards he adored the Wyoming Cairn from accessible demise.
I knew Doc for abounding years, but we will always be affiliated to the Wyoming Cairn and its preservation, although the adventure on how we got there is bizarre, to say the least.
On July 4, 2010, I covered the commemoration Wyoming Cairn commemorative celebration at the armpit on Wyoming Avenue. Marcella Starr, admiral of the Wyoming Cairn Association, batten and she corrective a rather acute account of the abridgement of funds aloft for the project. She said about $130,000 was needed, but they had alone aloft about $30,000 to date.
A brace canicule afterwards the adventure ran, I catholic to Wyalusing to seek out Jean Stevens, an aged woman who had her asleep bedmate and sister co-habitating with her in her home. Stevens, 91 at the time (she is now deceased), was active with the corpses of her husband, James, and sister, June, in her home on Old Stagecoach Road in a area alleged Lime Hill.
When I begin her walking to her mailbox, she told me it wasn’t annihilation added than bareness and adulation that motivated her to accompany her two abutting admired ones home to be with her.
Jean kept James’ body on a couch in the garage. Her sister was begin on a couch in a additional bedchamber cutting a bathrobe and smelling of perfume.
Stevens’ adventure was amazing to apprehend and to report.
When I alternate to the newsroom that day, my buzz was campanology — it was Doc Mattioli.
Doc told me to appear to his home in Long Pond and he and Rose would accord $100,000 to adjustment the monument.
And that was important to Doc. He talked about the sacrifices fabricated in the following of freedom. He told me it was important for that cairn to angle to admonish bodies of the adventurous men and women who fought to accomplish us chargeless and were accommodating to accord their lives for that cause.
I’ll never balloon Doc and what he did and I will never balloon to bethink the sacrifices fabricated in the Action of Wyoming.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.
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