On February 22, 2019, Richard J. Kerkeslager was honored at Cedar Haven for his service in World War II between 1942 and 1946. Richard served in the 407th infantry and was awarded the Bronze Star medal for bravery.

As his commendation read, Richard earned his medal “in part by serving as a scout for the battalion intelligence section (and) manned a rifle company observation post during the enemy attack against enemy fortifications.” His original commendation goes on to say that “when a battalion wireman attached to his group became an early casualty, he braved the fire many times to crawl over open ground in order to effect vital repairs.”

Representative Russ Diamond and Marie Tribioli from Senator Folmer’s office came to Cedar Haven to present Richard with a certification to “Salute Pennsylvania’s World War II Hero.”

As the certificate reads, “Let us never forget those sacrifices and keep alive the legacy of your generation. Only through the dedication and heroism exhibited by you and your comrades do we remain a free country. Although this certificate could never embody the amount of gratitude you deserve, on behalf of the citizens of this great Commonwealth, we in the Pennsylvania General Assembly thank you.”

Thank you to Susan Shapiro, News Anchor at WGAL News 8, for covering Richard’s story and for her Facebook post honoring his service:


Richard is one of 16 million Americans who served in the military during World War II. We are all thankful for the opportunity to formally honor Richard and thank him for his service. Please join us in thanking Richard and recognizing the personal sacrifices that he and so many others made to protect our country. The other residents and staff greatly enjoyed attending the event and celebrating our own World War II hero.


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