The recently removed old Assumption Church on the White Horse Pike served the Galloway community for almost 100 years. It was the site of countless weddings, christenings, funerals and services. In our effort to preserve Galloway history and to conserve our communities enduring intrinsic memories, we asked to have some of the interior wood salvaged from the old church. Luckily, Father Nick Dudo and Joe Picardi, a representative of the church not only had preserved some of the wood but were kind enough to share it with us. Ray Ring from the church met us to make the wood available. The church has also saved part of the steeple, the cross and the cornerstone. We felt that using the wood to build items for our Military Funeral Honor Guard, “Last Salute”, would be a great way to repurpose and preserve something of such sentimental value. We have built two wonderful and unique pieces from the wood so far. First, we needed to build a stand for our recently acquired funeral bell. This large solid brass bell required a very sturdy stand that could be moved from one location to another frequently so in addition to framing lumber, we used the church wood as ornamental additions in the shape of big stars along the top beams. The bell stand turned out beautifully and is used at veterans funerals as well as other community events. The stand was built by Galloway Patriot publisher Chuck Knutson and Dale Kiminsky.
The second piece is a box used to hold the prayer cards which we collect. Each time we preform a military funeral ceremony, we take a prayer card that is generally made as a remembrance. All of these cards are now stored in the newly constructed box. They travel to each funeral for which we conduct services and a new card is added. The box pictured here was built by Chuck Knutson and master craftsman Steve Amadio who was also instrumental in the construction of our Civil War cannon the “Jaime Lee”. Upon the top of the box, the official “Last Salute” prayer has been carved. Last Salute and the VFW Post 9462 Honor Guard have participated in 88 events so far this year. Most of these have been funeral services provided at no charge to the families of fallen heroes. Last Salute is an all volunteer organization that does not charge for any services but does need the communities help to keep providing these services. If you would like to help, please attend the Last Salute Cocktail Reception and fundraiser at the Smithville Inn on October 13th at 6pm. You can purchase tickets ahead of time at www.LastSalute.US. If you are unable to attend, you may also make donations at our site.