My daughter married her high-school sweetheart last night. She never looked more beautiful. It was a great wedding.
May God bless their marraige and may they always be as happy and in love as they were last night.
My daughter married her high-school sweetheart last night. She never looked more beautiful. It was a great wedding.
May God bless their marraige and may they always be as happy and in love as they were last night.
I have very tough and sad news to relay. Our WWII vet, Frank McDermott, passed away yesterday afternoon (Saturday 7/31) at the hospital. Frank was probably our most loyal and most beloved sheepdog. For over 2 years he never missed a rally, even on the coldest days, in freezing rain or wind, he would show up on his scooter and take his spot on the corner.
Frank loved the troops, past and present, and would often get misty-eyed talking about the ones that didn’t come home. He always had 2 American flags on his scooter and he loved to hold the bright yellow “God Bless Our Troops” sign. Last Saturday, 7/24, Frank was very upbeat, his surgery was a few days away and he was ready to face danger once again. His daughter, Mary Ann was at the rally and took a lot of pictures of her dad doing what he loved to do.
Despite not having his legs, we all looked at Frank as a giant man. He stood head and shoulders above most of us in so many ways. Always positive, always smiling and friendly to all who said hello. I can never remember Frank ever being in a bad mood. He was a most humble man too. He was very gracious and modest when a stranger would thank him for his service during WWII.
On the coldest days, I would say, “Frank are you sure you can be here today?” And his answer was soft and clear, “This is the least I can do for our boys.” He never complained about anything, ever. We talk about honor and dignity and quiet strength and Frank exemplified all those qualities every week for us. Humility was his trademark. Always good-natured. He truly loved his country and our rallies became a major part of his life.
Frank’s best friend at our rallies is Nick. Nick likes to wear a military uniform in honor of the troops. Nick always brought Frank a coffee and would stand right next to Frank at every rally. They were inseparable. Very close friends. I was talking with Nick yesterday and he said, “I loved Frank, I loved our conversations. Frank gave me a lot of good advice.”
Yesterday Nick brought a card to the rally and we all signed it. All of us were anticipating Frank to recover and return to his favorite spot on the corner. Nick took the card to Frank’s house and left the card on the door.
I believe he was 83 years old. His wife Mickey is making arrangements and when I find out about the viewing and services, I will let everyone know.
Ironically, Frank’s great-grandson was born yesterday, in the same hospital, just 3 floors below. He was born a couple hours before Frank passed. His name is Jonas, he will be forever linked to his great-grandpa, an American hero.
Our heartfelt condolences go to his family.
Frank was truly a great man and loved all of us. As Nick said, “I know he’s in heaven.”
Here’s the photo of our check presentation on the campus of West Chester University in front of Phillips Memorial Hall. We raised $2000 at our fundraiser at the Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown for the statue of Mike Horrocks which will be dedicated at the WCU Football Stadium on Sept 11, 2010.
WCU President Greg Weisenstein told us, “College kids need role models. This statue will be a way for all our students, especially the football team, to remember that Mike Horrocks, a WCU football player, was a hero.”
In the photo are Athletic Director Dr Edward Matejkovic, President Greg Weisenstein, me, and Steve Grabicki(representing PA State Senator Andy Dinniman). Photo was taken by WCU photographer Bob Williams.
Here’s the story of how Mike’s teammates from West Chester University are raising money to honor their quarterback and leader from 1981 -1984.
Back Channels: A lasting tribute to 9/11 victim
West Chester University alumnus to get statue.
by Kevin Ferris of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mar 14, 2010
Spend any time with the people who knew Michael Horrocks when he played football for West Chester University and you’re going to hear about the Delaware game. A lot.
Powerhouse Delaware vs. longtime rival West Chester – usually a good day for Blue Hens fans. In fact, Delaware had a 15-game winning streak against the Rams when the teams met for the season opener in 1983.
Mike was in his third year, the starting quarterback. His friend Rick Ulrich was also in the backfield that day, and he remembers the Rams initially taking Delaware by surprise.
“We got ahead pretty quickly, and by a large margin, 31-7 or 31-10,” Ulrich says. “But they slowly figured out how to stop us. Little by little they put points on the board.”
A late interception sealed the deal. Rams won, 35-27 – something that hadn’t happened since 1956 (the teams didn’t meet every year). The record-setting quarterback went on to lead his team to a 7-3 season.
“He was disciplined, on and off the field,” Ulrich says. “When he set his mind to doing something, he worked every day diligently to make that happen.”
One thing he set his mind to, and talked about often while at West Chester, was being a pilot. After graduation in 1985, he – of course – made it happen. First as a pilot and flight instructor while a Marine Corps officer. After the service, he flew for United Airlines. Along the way he and his wife, Miriam, had two children, Christa and Michael, and they settled in Glen Mills.
Mike, 38, was the first officer on United Flight 175, which crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001.
Now, on the next Sept. 11 – 27 years and a day since the Delaware game – his teammates will lead the school as well as family and friends in honoring Mike. At the season home opener against Edinboro, they will dedicate a statue of the cool, disciplined young man who led and inspired them.
The team wanted to show No. 14 in action, the classic quarterback pose of one arm extended, the other back and ready to launch the ball, eyes downfield, searching for a receiver. And that’s exactly what sculptor Brian Hanlon of Toms River, N.J., has in the works.
It will be set just off a path at the northwest corner of West Chester’s John A. Farrell Stadium, with Mike facing the gridiron. The football team will pass the statue at every home game as it makes its way from the athletic center to the field.
There had been talk of a tribute at West Chester since 2001, but vague plans began to crystallize two years ago, when Mike’s former teammates approached the school. Honors to alumni and other valued members of the university community are a natural part of school life. Plaques are hung, trees planted, buildings and classrooms renamed, scholarships endowed.
Mike’s teammates wanted a statue, which for this campus would be a one-of-a-kind tribute. (There’s the ram statue, but none of a person.)
Joe Walsh, who played center for West Chester in the early ’80s, acknowledges that Mike’s reaction to a statue would likely have been, “What the hell is that?” But, given the kind of man he was, how the football fraternity still feels about him, and how he died, the team believes strongly this is the way to go.
“Nothing short of a full statue could do Mike honor,” Walsh said. “Put a plaque on a wall and people will walk right by it. Hang it outside the locker room and then the community won’t see it.”
University officials from the athletic department to the president’s office were happy to help but skeptical. They assumed the expense and time-consuming fund-raising efforts needed to pull the project off would perhaps steer the well-intentioned teammates to a more modest tribute.
Not when a guy like Mike is your inspiration. You set a lofty goal, and then work diligently every day to make it happen.
They are indeed making it happen. The initial fund-raising target was $100,000, half for the statue and half for an annual football scholarship. They’ve raised about $68,000, so the statue is covered. They have six months to raise the remaining $32,000 for the scholarship fund, though Walsh is pushing hard for an initial fund of $100,000.
They’ve held two large dinners, organized Super Bowl and March Madness pools, and there was even a last-minute gathering at Victory Brewery Co. in Downingtown last weekend that raised $2,000. Teammates push each other for contributions, both financial and material. The landscaping and stonework around the statue, as well as the crane that sets it in place, will also be donated.
And it’s not just teammates.
“Anyone affiliated with West Chester football is trying to get involved,” Ulrich says. “Guys who didn’t know him, who maybe read about him, or just saw him play. They want to jump in and help. Their heart and soul is into the project.”
If you’d like to jump in and help, send checks payable to the WCU Foundation, Box 541, West Chester, Pa. 19381, or call 610-436-2868 to donate by credit card.
A packed house at the Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown enjoyed a delicious meal and heard motivating testimonies from West Chester University guests and friends. It was a huge success. Everyone had a terrific time and we raised $2000 for the Mike Horrocks Statue and Scholarship.
Joe Walsh was Mike’s teammate. Joe was the center and Mike was the quarterback. He told us a few stories of how Mike led the team, time after time to victory. He talked about the tremendous hurt that he and all his teammates feel about the way Mike was taken from us by Islamic terrorists on Sept 11, 2001. When Joe spoke, his eyes filled up and the audience was captivated by his words. He thanked us for helping to raise the money they need to get the life-size statue of Mike erected next to the West Chester University Football Stadium.
PA State Rep Curt Schroder and Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Welsh shared their thoughts of what the statue will mean for the university and community.
The Rams Head Coach, Bill Zwaan gave a great speech about how hard Mike’s teammates have worked to make this dream a reality. He said, “Nobody thought a bunch of football players would really be able to get a life-size statue built, but these guys overcame all the odds, they have made it happen.” He also spoke about what the statue will mean to the West Chester University football team. He said, “I will make sure our players never forget Mike Horrocks.”
WCU’s Athletic Director Dr Edward Matejkovic gave a terrific speech and invited us to be at the first home game this year, on Sept 11, 2010 – so that we can witness the unveiling of the statue.
Everyone had a good time, the Victory Brewery Hall is perfect because it is decorated with patriotic posters from WWII and has a quote from Theodore Roosevelt saluting our military along the top of the walls.
We had 3 active duty military there. Below is Matt, he’s been in for 15 years, started out as a Marine for 5 years and has been in the Army National Guard ever since. He recently returned from Iraq. Also we had Jon Kromer, an Army Combat Medic, back from 15 months in Afghanistan and Ava is in the Air Force. Many of the attendees were Military family members.
(will add more pictures later)
The total cost for the statue and scholarship is over $100,000. They still need about $35,000. We will do all we can to help these teammates of Mike Horrocks get the ball over the goal line.
We will make a formal presentation of our check at the president’s office at West Chester University on Mar 23rd.
Anyone interested in making a donation can call 484-947-5173.
UPDATE – 8 tickets still remain for tonight’s dinner, if you want to attend, please call 484-947-5173.
On Sunday, March 7th, the Sheepdogs will have a banquet to raise money for West Chester University football player Mike Horrock’s memorial and scholarship. Here are the details.
What: Mike Horrocks Fundraiser
Where: Victory Brewing Company
420 Acorn Lane
Downingtown, PA 19335
When: Sunday Mar 7th, from 5PM till 8PM.
Cost: Tickets are $30 each and are payable at the door
Menu: 7-course buffet (BBQ Pork Sandwiches, Roast Beef Sandwiches, Red Pepper Medley, Wings, Brewery Pretzel Bites, Assorted Pizza, Garden Salad)
Bar: Cash Bar – all attendees will receive 2 beer tickets to get Victory draft beer at a discount of $3/pint instead of the normal $4.50/pint.
Special guests include: Bill Zwaan (Head Coach, West Chester University Football), Dr Edward Matejkovic (WCU Athletic Director), Paul and Miriam Isenberg and their children (teammate of Mike, wife of Mike and their 4 kids), Dick Yoder (Marine, former West Chester Mayor, Player, Coach, and Athletic Director at WCU), Sheriff Bunny Welsh (Chester County Sheriff and President of PA Sheriff Association), Curt Schroder (PA State Rep), and Andy Dinniman (PA State Senator).
Below is part of the post I wrote about Mike last September.
A couple weeks ago I learned about a special event that was being planned for 9/11/09. The West Chester University Football Alumni was hosting a dinner to remember their teammate - Mike Horrocks. Mike was the starting quarterback for 3 seasons (1981-1984). In his first start, as a sophomore, he led the team to a major upset over heavily favored Delaware 35-27. He ended up with an outstanding college football career, beloved by his teammates for his leadership and heart. After college he went into the Marines and became a pilot. After the Marines he became a commercial airline pilot – for United Airlines. He was the co-pilot of Flight 175 which was the 2nd plane to hit the World Trade Center Towers. He was 38 years old. His teammate Joe Walsh said, “He was the very best we had, the best of all of us, he was our leader.”
The Phila Daily News had a nice article.
Former teammates honor their fallen leader: A statue for Mike Horrocks, pilot of Flight 175
by Dick Jerardi.
THE FIRST GAME that Michael Horrocks started at quarterback for West Chester was Sept. 10, 1983. It was at Delaware. The Blue Hens were expected to win big. West Chester won, 35-27.
His teammates never forgot how cool the quarterback was that day and every day. After they all graduated from West Chester and went their separate ways, the teammates got on with their lives. Some stayed local, became lawyers or went into business. Others chose a different path.
Horrocks went into the Marines. Became a first lieutenant on the way to captain. Went to flight school and flew in a squadron of KC-130 tankers. After he left the service, Horrocks became a pilot for United Airlines. Click HERE to read the rest of it.
If anyone is interested in attending the fundraising banquet at the Victory Brewing Company on Sunday March 7 – please call 484-947-5173.
The newest member of the sheepdogs. His name is Victor, he’s 11 weeks old today.
When I was little we had a family dog named Jezabel. She was great fun and always protected us. I would hold her close when watching “Chiller Theater” on Saturday nights. I always wanted a dog of my own and now finally I do. I have to thank my daughter and her fiancee, they bought a female (Layla) and I fell in love with her. Rick said, “They have a boy that looks just like her” so I went and got him. He was at the victory rally last week and had a good time.
I wanted a shepherd because they work with the military and police. Victor is 7/8 german shepherd and 1/8 sled dog (samoyed), he loves snow. He looks like a Navy Chief, in his tan khakis and black brim cover.
My daughter, Crystal, got engaged. She’s a psychological therapist, treating children and he’s a special education teacher. Rick asked for my blessing the day before Christmas Eve and I was happy to give it because he loves her and I know he will protect and take care of her the way all dads want for their daughters. They’ve been sweathearts since high school and have survived college and masters degrees. We are proud and happy to have Rick as part of our family. We’re all very close, my daughter brought me every joy I could ever have and now she brought the son I never had.
At our family Christmas, I wanted to take a picture of them, and Rick was pretending he was yawning, Crystal didn’t like it. He’s gonna be fun.
Crystal shows the ring to her aunt and poses with her grandmom.
Families are able to have good times together because our troops, past and present, sacrifice their time and lives for us. We always remember that.
Opponents of the conservative candidates running for WCASD (West Chester Area School District) are planning to plant “negative lit” against the Republican candidates in this year’s November election for school board.
On Sunday, Sept 13 at 8PM, I received an email from Brian McGinnis, who is against the conservatives running for local office. In the email he says they are having a meeting to plan a “massive negative lit drop” and “We need to bring up the negatives and show the people in East Bradford just how right wing these candidates really are.”
How did I get this email from Brian?
Because the people who sent it, must have confused me with someone else (someone who has the same name as me. Although we have the same name, we are different, he is a regular participant of the Chester County Peace Movement demonstrations at the courthouse. He’s a photographer by trade, he’s also a Democrat Committeeperson in Precinct North 2 in East Bradford. My guess is they intended the email to go to that Davis, and not me. (update: he goes by Rick, I go by Rich).
The email is damning. It is solid proof that certain people are going to hit below the belt and try to defame and smear conservatives that they don’t want elected. It’s despicable and must be exposed.
A couple hours later (at 10PM on Sept 13), I received a follow-up email from ”Fred Rothman” replying to Brian’s plan to drop negative literature in the neighborhood of Mark Pimley (Maria Pimley is running for school board as a republican).
Fred Rothman is a Democrat Committeeperson in Precinct South 1 in East Bradford. Rothman says, “It’s the candidates we need to attack.”
Rothman talks about Mark Pimley and dropping literature ”defaming him (& his wife)” for hosting a “fundraiser for the “R’s” school board campaign.”
Fred Rothman goes on to give Mark Pimley’s address and even provides a link to a google-map pointing out exactly where Mark Pimley’s house is. (in the email I have removed the coordinates of the address to protect the Pimley privacy)
Maria Pimley is running for West Chester School Board. She’s a republican and is a Doctor of Optometry with Chester County Opticians. She’s also an Adjunct Instructor at the Pennsyvania College of Optometry at Salus University, teaching students going for their masters and doctoral. She has 2 children in Glen Acres Elementary and 1 preschooler. She’s also a Cub Scout den leader and Glen Acres Volunteer.
Rothman says he is willing to fund the literature, he says he would “afford a fair share of the cost if that’s decided that that’s what should be done.”
For the record, campaign literature must contain, by law, who is paying for it, whether it be a mailing, a literature drop, a newpaper ad, a poster, a TV or radio commercial. It’s required to specify who paid for it.
Rothman says at their meeting that they have agreed to “start the negative stuff in about 4½-5 weeks with a targeted mailing, certain WC wards & other specific precincts.” (4-5 weeks would be in mid-October, a couple weeks before the Nov 3rd election).
This is despicable and shows how desperate the Democrats are. And it speaks volumes about the agenda of members of the Chester County Peace Movement.
Instead of running on the issues these Democrats want to use smear tactics to defame people.
The 4 republican candidates (Adsett, Carpenter, Pimley, and Wingerter) are running on fiscal responsibility. They want to keep the taxpayers costs down. They want to provide accountability and full disclosure. They want to emphasize their positions on the key issues.
These Democrat Committee people (and one Chairman) want to spend money and time circulating negative information about the Republican candidates.
I put the emails in cronological order. Brian McGinnis sent the first one followed by Fred Rothman’s.
—– Original Message —–From: Brian McGinnisSent: Sunday, September 13, 2009 8:37 PMSubject: Lit Drop for East Bradford this weekend
Fred, John, Rick,
I have talked about the plan to do a massive negative lit drop in Mark Pimley’s precint and think we need to do that this weekend. Most likely Friday night or Saturday.
We need to bring up the negatives and show the people in East Bradford just how right wing these candidates really are. Let me know what you guys think.
—– Original Message —–From: Fred RothmanSent: Sunday, September 13, 2009 10:16 PMSubject: Lit Drop for East Bradford this weekendAt today’s meeting it was more or less agree upon to start the negative stuff in about 4½-5 weeks with a targeted mailing, certain WC wards & other specific precincts.In reference to your lit drop Brian & for the benefit of the rest on this eMail Cc: Mark Pimley is the committee person in EB S-1 living at (address removed for privacy) off of Sconneltown (see the google map below).I’ve gotten some negative feedback about doing a lit drop for defaming him (& his wife) for hosting this fundraiser for the “R’s” school board campaign.It’s the candidates we need to attack, so depending on what our negative-type letter claims, to me, that would make a case about whether it should be done.Now I’m not personally opposed to doing a mailing that would go out as quickly as we could get one together. I would afford a fair share of the cost if that’s decided that that’s what should be done. Are we certain about a date of when the fundraiser is?Below is the actual location of the Pimley home, so limiting a mailing/lit drop to the adjacent neighbors would have to be determined. 100, 200, 500, Dems, soft “R’s”, Ind.???http://maps.google.com/maps (coordinates removed for privacy)FmR
West Chester, PA 19382
These people wanted to do this in the shadows, in the dark, but by fate, they made a mistake and included me on their emails. Now they are being expossed. Sunlight is the best disinfectent.
Let’s hope the Daily Local News and other newspapers will cover this. The citizens of Chester County have a right to know whats going on. Newspaper reporters have an important responsibility to the community. To inform readers that this type of thing is happening, and who is behind it. This is major news at the local level at least.
Contact – Andy Hachadorian, Daily Local News Editor, 610-430-1116, email@example.com and ask them to cover this.
Will the Daily Local ask the tough questions? What does the Chester County Democrat Headquarters have to say about this? Is this the type of officials we want in West Chester? Or anywhere in America? This is wrong, it’s dirty, and it needs to be cleaned up. Corruption knows no bounds, be it on a national level with ACORN or the NEA or here in West Chester, Pa.
The public deserves to know the truth. The paper plays a role in our society and this story must be told.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. A day to remember all those who have died in our nation’s service. It is also a day for all of us to give thanks and offer prayers for all of the brave men and women who have recognized that “Service is Self.” The men and women of our military are the very best our country has to offer. Their selfless service to the United States and to it’s people is a shining beacon for each of us.
Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together as a nation to honor those who gave their all. It is a day to reflect on the sacrifices made by so many brave Americans – Americans like Michael Monsoor, A Navy Seal, who was awarded the Medal of Honor. Michael Monsoor died on September 29, 2006, while serving in Iraq. Michael was providing cover to an Army unit when a grenade hit him in the chest. He dived on it, saving the lives of two others. As President Bush said in awarding Michael’s parents his Medal of Honor, “He had a clear chance to escape, but in his mind, it was not a choice at all.” Michael understood that Service to one’s Country is the highest calling. As we remember all of those who have died in service to America, let us also say a prayer for those still in harm’s way.
I often think, as we come together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country, of the famous poem, “In Flanders Field”.
“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”
Let us pledge on this sacred day to never break faith with those who have died.
The EAA (Employee Activity Association) is sponsoring a Support Our Troops campaign.
Paula’s company is doing a drive for the troops. Any donations can be contributed to Paula at the American Sheepdog’s rally. All donations need to be given to Paula no later than the 13th of May.
Here’s a list of preferred items to donate.
Candy (hard candy/heat resistant)
Writing Paper and Envelopes
Kool-Aid bursts- to freeze
Powdered Drink Mixes
Tea Mixes (sweet)
CD Fanny Packs
CDs (music, books on CD)
DVDs (comedy, American travel)
Hand held electronic games
FOOD (including dry goods, snacks)
Canned Food (cheese, meats, etc)
Canned Fruit (pop top cans)
Cereal (in small boxes)
Cookies (including Girl Scout)
Energy Bars (Cliff or Balance)
Pistachios and other nuts
Ramen Noodles/Cup of Soup
Ravioli (pop top cans)
Salsa & Bean Dip
Snack Mix & Fruit Roll ups
Sunflower & Pumpkin seeds
Checkers (travel size)
Chess (travel size)
Drawing pads/art pencils
Books (novels, short stories, history)
Comic Strips/Joke Books
Post Cards from Home
Deodorant (gel or solid)
Femine Hygiene Products (for female soldiers)
Hand Sanitizers (waterless)
Lip Balm with SPF 15+
Powder (Gold Bond)
Tissues (heavy duty – i.e. Puffs)
Toilet Paper (name brand)
Travel size body wash
Tylenol/Motrin (individual packets)
American Flags (small)
Baggies (with zip lock)
Batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V)
BBQ cooking supplies/tools
Boot laces (brown/tan)
Bowls (large for Ramen noodles/popcorn)
Bug Spray (must be packaged in zip-lock bag)
Cameras (digital, disposable, Polaroid)
Chair (folding camping chair)
Duct Tape (olive green)
Dust pan (for sand)
Fans (battery powered – small – with extra batteries)
Flashlights (mini/mag lite, extra bulbs, lots of batteries)
Fly Strips & Swatters
Gloves (Nomex Aviator’s)
Hand and Foot Warmers
Letters from veterans & citizens
Phone Cards (pre-paid, AAFES)
Shoe Insole Cushions
Socks (cushioned white calf high)
Socks (moisture-wicking boot socks)
Spray Bottle (for water)
Let Paula (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your support!
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