The Apostle John captured Jesus’ words and they are so applicable today.
Frederick Eric Leopold and Donald Bruce Rees were the 149th and the 150th Delaware County residents who did just that for us.
They were true friends that paid the ultimate price while serving to protect this country and their friends and classmates.
Frederick Leopold, just 18 years old, made his sacrifice for us on February 22, 1970.
Less than a month later, 19 year old Donald Rees lay down his life for us on March 21, 1970.
We are here today to honor and remember these two Classmates of 1969, who died at such a young age serving in the United States Army. We are also here to place a monument stone to have a long-lasting remembrance and tribute to these friends and classmates.
Stones have been used as testimonies of great accomplishments. The twelve tribes of Israel set up 12 large stones at the edge of the Jordan River to mark their crossing.
The prophet Samuel picked up a stone, set it in place where the Israelites kept their freedom from the Philistines and called it Ebenezer, meaning “Thus far has the LORD helped us.”
Today, the Interboro Class of 1969 places our own Ebenezer stone to commemorate Frederick and Donald’s great contributions to our freedom by offering their lives, services and ultimately deaths for us, their friends.
This stone will outlast all of us. It will remind future generations of the sacrifices of those friends who lay down their lives for us. It will even serve as an example for those in the future who may do the same as Frederick Leopold and Donald Rees have done.
We are also placing another stone to commemorate a more recent great accomplishment and display of love and self-sacrifice by another one of our classmates. Jim Shannon could have spent his last days on earth doing a lot of things.
Instead, Jim started putting together the 45th Reunion for the Interboro Class of 1969. There was a lot to do and so little time. Jim made a Herculean attempt to pull together the hundreds of details necessary to do this, infecting many classmates with his enthusiasm. He welcomed volunteers, sometimes he’d ‘volunteer’ you himself, utilizing the available talents and skills of many classmates and friends to make it all happen…and he succeeded.
We place this stone in memorial to Jim and his dedication to the Interboro Class of 1969 to remind us of the camaraderie and personal love the members of this class have for each other. It will also remind future Interboro classes, as well as others, of the honor in serving others and inspire them to pass it forward in serving others.
Let us pray.
Father in heaven, we thank you for bringing Frederick Leopold, Donald Rees and Jim Shannon into our lives. They were beloved classmates who have added much to the Interboro Class of 1969.
Please bless their souls and comfort their families, friends and classmates.
We ask you to touch others as they come across these stones and stir inside them love of those who have served and a yearning to also serve their class, friends and family.
We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus,
Invitation for friends and family offer remembrances, etc.