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Greencastle names 'Most Patriotic'

July 05, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - With a husband in Kuwait and two little girls at home, Greencastle, Pa., resident Susan Hirneisen was a shoo-in for Friday's "Most Patriotic Family" contest.

It didn't hurt that Meghan, 5, wore a picture of her father on a lanyard around her neck and both she and her sister, Lauren, 4, had red, white and blue beads in their blond hair.

Meghan, 5, showed Greencastle Mayor Red Pensinger the picture and told him she talked to her father that morning.

Susan Hirneisen hopes her husband, Jeremy Hirneisen, is home for the Christmas season instead of running supplies to Baghdad.

"I think that's why we won - the sympathy vote," she said.

Hirneisen said her husband has been overseas since April, but they are able to talk regularly via a satellite phone.

"Without a doubt they were the first-place winner," said organizer Dana Given.

Four families were given $25 prizes for showing their patriotic pride at the second annual Greencastle-Antrim July 4th Celebration.

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The old-fashioned picnic-style gathering was held at Tayamentasachta environmental center.

Pensinger greeted everyone and had them sign a guest book. About 500 people had signed in toward the end of the three-hour event, he said.

People brought chairs and blankets and sat under a canopy of shade trees to listen to patriotic songs played by the Community Band and sung by a variety of people. The crowd stood for "God Bless America."

Diane and Mickey Finn just retired and moved to Greencastle from Littleton, Colo.

"I think it's wonderful, people getting together like this," Diane Finn said. "It's an enjoyable way to spend the day."

From the bed of a red rollback truck converted into a portable stage, organizers also read powerful writings about liberty and freedom, including Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the story of an American prisoner of war who was beaten for making a flag from the threads of his tattered clothes.

The event was free, with the help of donations from local businesses, Pensinger said.

Shady Grove Cub Scout Pack No. 95 sold hot dogs for $1 and sodas for 75 cents. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary sold sno-cones for $1.

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