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Gannon University proudly hosts Veterans Day celebration

Published: 11/11/2021

Veterans Day Celebration at Gannon University

Veterans Day Celebration at Gannon University

The cadre and cadets of the “Pride of PA” Army ROTC Battalion at Gannon University proudly honored those who have served and those who continue to protect our freedoms with a Veterans Day Celebration at 8 a.m. today.

The celebration began with a Reveille Ceremony conducted by the “Pride of PA” Gannon University ROTC Cadet Color Guard. Father Shawn Clerkin, director of liberal studies and co-director and associate professor of the School of Communication and the Arts, performed a “Reveille,” or bugle call.

Gannon University’s Mixed Chorus under the direction of Michael Malthaner performed the National Anthem. 

Afterward, Gannon’s Father Michael Kesicki, associate vice president for Mission and Ministry, delivered the invocation. Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., also spoke to the importance of veterans to Gannon University, our community and nation.

Retired Major Joseph Pfadt addressed attendees as this year’s guest speaker. 

In addition, a wreath was laid in honor of military members who are currently serving, have served, or have given their lives in service to their country.

The day’s events concluded with the playing of Taps, the National Song of Remembrance.

About Major Joseph Pfadt:
Retired Major Joseph Pfadt is well known in the greater Erie community as an educator, an Army officer, a community servant, coach, newscaster, historian and family man. He served his country with honor and impeccable character for more than 30 years while educating Harborcreek High School students for 26 years. 

After graduating from Fort Le Boeuf High School, Major Pfadt earned degrees in speech communication and education. He then earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Edinboro University and is now completing a Ph.D. in Organization Learning and Leadership from Gannon University.

Major Pfadt’s military education began as an enlisted soldier completing military police school and later the basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course. He was then inspired to become a commissioned officer and progressed through Officer Candidate School, Infantry Officer Basic Course, Armor Advanced Officers Course, Combined Arms Services Staff School, and culminated with graduation from the Army’s Command and General Staff College.

Major Pfadt represented the 16th Congressional District at the 2019 Presidential State of the Union Address. He was also nominated by fellow solders for the prestigious Order of Saint Maurice Medallion for outstanding contributions to the Infantry. To receive this award, you must represent the highest standards of integrity, moral character, professional competence, and dedication to duty.

Major Pfadt has continued as a steward to the military community by starting a nonprofit organization dedication to recognizing veterans who served their country but never had the opportunity to see places where history was made. His charity “Warriors to Washington” has thus far provided more than 35 veterans and their family members with free transportation, food and lodging to visit the Shanksville, PA Flight 93 National Memorial, Congress, and several historical and memorial sites in Washington, D.C.

Through all these achievements, Pfadt has sought to recognize and honor Erie, Pa. and with important reminders of the value of our Veterans and Citizen Soldiers, as well as the sacrifices they make serving our great country.