Salena Zito

Years later, at age 84, Frederick Hain appeared before the Common Pleas Court of Berks County, requesting a pension for his Revolutionary War service. He wrote that he enlisted in December 1776 in Capt. Fisher's Company, First Regiment of the Pennsylvania Line, commanded by Col. Broadhead.

Hain said his company remained in Reading for only a few days before marching to join the rest of the regiment in Philadelphia "or nearby."

From there, the company was ordered to Trenton, N.J., and Hain "was one of the guards to conduct the Hessian prisoners from Trenton to Reading."

Also in his company were his brother Daniel and his eventual brother-in-law, Mathias Wenrich; all three men "recruited" other young farmers from throughout the county to join the cause as they made their way to Reading with their prisoners.

In his petition, Hain mentioned that his servants and team of horses were "constantly at the service of the government."

The pension was denied because his commission had been lost and he had outlived everyone who had served with him or known him, "so there was no one living who would be able to swear to his three years service with the army."

Back at Arlington National Cemetery, Lyle Smith paused to listen to a chorus of buglers celebrating the 150th anniversary of "Taps." He saluted and said, "That is for every man and woman who kept this country free, God bless them."

Over by the grave of World War II Medal of Honor recipient Audie Murphy, John Grey played "Taps" on his bugle, wearing an Air Force uniform. The Pelham, Ga., native served in Vietnam; his teenage grandchildren stood in awe around a nearby oak tree as the familiar song filled the air.

We can never forget all who have served, Grey said when he finished, adding: "Without them, who would we be?"

Note: Frederick Hain is my great grandfather times 9 – his home and grist mill still stand in Berks County Pennsylvania – they are both on the National Registry.


Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.