Area Servicemen to be Honored During SteelStacks’ Memorial Day Celebration May 28-30

May 13th, 2016Press Release from ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks

BEHLEHEM, PA—From May 28-30, the community is invited to join Embassy Bank and ArtsQuest in honoring the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country during the sixth-annual Memorial Day Celebration at SteelStacks presented by Embassy Bank.


During the event, which also pays tribute to Veterans and active members of the U.S. military, the SteelStacks campus is transformed into a living memorial honoring local heroes, with more than 800 images of Veterans and active military personnel displayed as part of the “Our Hometown Heroes” display. The weekend’s activities will also include a new program featuring Veterans who worked at Bethlehem Steel in the 1940s and then went off to fight in World War II, as well as a special service on Memorial Day honoring the hundreds of servicemen and women featured on the Our Hometown Heroes banners over the past five years.


New highlights include:


The Greatest Generation: Men of Sweat and Steel

May 28, 3 p.m. – ArtsQuest Center Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas

The weekend begins with a presentation on Bethlehem Steel’s important role during World War II. This special program is led by David Venditta of The Morning Call, who was one of the writers of “Forging America: The Story of Bethlehem Steel,” and is well known for his “In Their Words” war stories.


Following Venditta’s presentation there will be stories and a Q&A with three very special guests: Carl A. Schroeter of Bethlehem Township, who became a Prisoner of War after being captured in the Battle of the Bulge; Bob Holden of Whitehall Township, who was on the submarine that rescued Navy pilot and future president George Bush in 1944; and Joseph E. Motil of Bethlehem, a D-Day veteran who was severely wounded in the war and later discharged with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. All three men not only served our nation in World War II, they also worked at the Bethlehem Steel plant before the war, with Motil and Schroeter returning to the plant after the war. Join them to discover what it was like to work at the Steel, go off to war and how the men were received when they returned home from battle. Tickets for this event are free, but they must be reserved in advance by calling 610-332-3378 or visiting the box office at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.

A Time to Remember Service – Honoring ‘Our Hometown Heroes’

May 30, 6 p.m. – Levitt Pavilion

The Memorial Day Celebration always concludes with a memorial service to remember the Lehigh Valley’s fallen soldiers, and this year’s event will feature two new elements honoring the individuals who have meant so much to the Memorial Day weekend at SteelStacks over the past five years.


As part of the service, Embassy Bank and ArtsQuest are inviting everyone who has been featured on the ‘Our Hometown Heroes’ banners from 2011-2015 to attend the service to be recognized for their courage and dedication to our country. A special group photo will be taken, commemorating the special occasion. Honorees interested in attending should RSVP by filling out the registration form at In addition, the Time to Remember Service will include a remembrance of Elmer Gates, a Veteran of the Korean War and the founder of Embassy Bank who passed away in December.

Remember Our Heroes Luminary Display

May 29, 9 p.m. – Levitt Pavilion

Following the evening’s Levitt Pavilion concert, the community is invited to remember our local servicemen and women by participating in a luminary display honoring family and friends who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Luminaries can be purchased for $5 each, with all proceeds donated to the Lehigh Valley American Gold Star Mothers. To reserve your luminaries in advance, visit

Other highlights of the Memorial Day Celebration at SteelStacks include hands-on art activities for children presented by ArtsQuest’s Banana Factory arts center, a patriotic performance by Letters From Home, the musical duo that showcases the music and dance of World War II; the comedic stylings of the Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show; and presentations and displays by the American Gold Star Mothers’ Lehigh Valley Chapter and Stars for Our Troops.


Throughout the weekend, guests will also enjoy free, live music, including headlining shows by artists performing at the Levitt Pavilion Summer Concert Series. On Saturday night, the Levitt will welcome the GRAMMY winning iconic blues and gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama.


The complete Memorial Day Celebration performance schedule is:

May 28

TD Community Stage on Air Products Town Square
3 & 5 p.m.:                              Letters From Home

Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks
7:30 p.m.:                                Blind Boys of Alabama

May 29

TD Community Stage on Air Products Town Square
3, 4, 5 & 6 p.m.:                      The Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show
9 p.m.:                                     Little Tower


Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks
7:30 p.m.:                                Jukebox the Ghost

May 30

TD Community Stage on Air Products Town Square
3 p.m.:                                     Sing for America

Capital Blue Cross Creativity Commons
3-7 p.m.:                                  Once Upon a Nation Storytellers


Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks
7:30 p.m.:                                Lost Bayou Ramblers


The Memorial Day Celebration presented by Embassy Bank begins at 3 p.m. each day. For more information, visit



Photo Caption Info for ‘Shipping Gun’:
Bethlehem Steel Corp. produced more than 73 million tons of steel for the U.S. Military during World War II including armor plating, Naval guns and more.  On May 28, David Venditta will talk about the steel giant’s important role during the war. This image, courtesy of the National Museum of Industrial History, shows a 50-caliber battleship gun being pulled out of the plant’s No. 8 Machine Shop in the early 1940s.

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