We Remember: Service to the State and Nation (2023)

We Remember: Service to the State and Nation (2023)

American Civil War| World War I | World War II | Vietnam War | Global War on Terror

Past and present Members of the Senate of Pennsylvania took a solemn oath to be the voice of their constituents, as well as to defend and protect our country as service members of the United States Armed Forces. Whether in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Air National Guard or National Guard, they bravely pledged their lives to protect this Nation.

We Remember pays tribute to Senators who served in the military and participated in the conflicts listed above. Starting with the American Civil War in which, many Pennsylvania Senators were present at Antietam. The Battle of Antietam is still the bloodiest single-day battle in American History.

This exhibit highlights former Senator and Senate Librarian Major Charles A. P. Bartlett who fought in WWI with the 42nd Division nicknamed the Rainbow Division. Bartlett served for 18 months with the 42nd Division, 149th Machine Gun Battalion before being elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate.

We Remember 2023 also features former Senator Fraser P. Donlan who was wounded in action multiple times in World War II. While fighting in Iwo Jima, during a violent two-day battle, Donlan was one of six survivors out of a company of two-hundred-forty-five soldiers. He also lost his left leg during the fight. For his courage and bravery, Donlan was awarded four Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, the Bronze Star, and an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars.

Surviving physical artifacts connect Members like former Senator Freeman Hankins to the wars abroad. A flag that was presented to the family of Senator Hankins for his service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during WWII acts to honor the veteran's memory. The Hankins family donated the flag to the Library so that we could continue to pay tribute to Senator Freeman Hankins.

In the spirit of tradition, whether rooted in patriotism, family values, a passion for service, or all three, Members also engaged in modern military conflicts including the Korean War, Vietnam War, and both Iraq Wars. Current Senators who served in the military, include Senator Ryan P. Aument, Senator Cris Dush, Senator Doug Mastriano, Senator Tracy Pennycuick, Senator Greg Rothman, and Senator Gene Yaw.

Please join the Senate Library in honoring these public servants, who in addition to serving their nation, spent years representing the people of Pennsylvania. Although the Library could not feature every member who served our country in this exhibit, we do display them on posters throughout the Library. The Senate Library extends a heartfelt thankyou to all the Members and their families for their service, as well as their willingness to share it with all who visit the Senate Library.

  • Congressional Medals of Honor; Congressional Medal of Honor Society
  • Senator Freeman Hankins's Military Flag; Library of the Pennsylvania State Senate
  • Pictures of Senator Donlan; Manhattan University Archives
  • Photograph of Senator Donlan; Times-Tribune, Scranton
  • Photographs of the Battle of Antietam; Library of Congress
  • 1866 Pennsylvania State Senate Journal; Library of the Pennsylvania State Senate
  • U.S. Army camouflage blouse, Operation Iraqi Freedom scrapbook; Senator Ryan Aument
  • United States Army Formal Dress Uniform, U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter uniform; Senator Tracy Pennycuick
  • U.S. Army Bronze Star, dog-tags; Senator Tracy Pennycuick
  • Pictures of burning Iraqi oil fields, Blackhawk helicopter; Senator Pennycuick in combat pilot uniform; Senator Tracy Pennycuick
  • Bible from Desert Storm, prayer rug, C.M.F.C pin; Senator Tracy Pennycuick
  • Special Operations Command Korea Badge; Senator Tracy Pennycuick
  • 1917 WWI 42nd Unit Helmet; Pennsylvania State Museum
  • WWI 42nd Unit Victory Medal; Pennsylvania State Museum
  • Letters of U.S. Army solider to family during WWII; Senator Camera Bartolotta
  • KA-BAR Military Knife, dog-tags, Norwegian sweater; Senator Greg Rothman
  • U.S. Marine Corps camouflage blouse, camouflage hat; Senator Greg Rothman
  • Military flashlight, FDC manual, monocular, flight bag, journals; Senator Greg Rothman


  • The viewer will be able to identify Members of the Pennsylvania Senate who actively served as well as were involved in major military conflicts throughout the history of our country.
  • The viewer will recognize that Members of the Pennsylvania Senate came to the legislature with their own unique perspectives, often based on their military service/careers.
  • The viewer will understand that Members of the Pennsylvania Senate have gone beyond the call of duty, as evidenced by their distinguished careers during their military service.
  • The viewer will be exposed to the major conflicts involving the United States of America, from the 1860s until the present day. (Specifically, American Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War, and Global War on Terrorism).

Pennsylvania Academic Standards
(History, US History, and Civics and Government) met in whole or in part* by this exhibition

Note: *The text for this exhibition is written (with the exception of field-specific language) for the sixth grade level. For more information on Pennsylvania’s Department of Education Standards, and more related standards, please visit PDE SAS.

5.1 6: Principles and Documents of Government

The entire exhibition allows the viewer the opportunity to fulfill this standard through an examination of the various sources on display.

8.1.5.B: Classify and analyze fact and opinion from multiple points of view, and secondary sources as related to historical events.

The entire exhibition allows the viewer the opportunity to fulfill this standard through an examination of the various points of view, secondary sources, and facts related to the historical events represented in this exhibition.

5.3.5.C: Describe the role of local and state government officials.

State officials, both in their official capacity and in their military role, are the focal point of the exhibit. Seeking to explain the changing role of state officials with the times, the exhibit showcases the multiple roles each Senator played in their state government, in their national military and as an international representative.

5.3.6. C Describe how local, state, and national governments provide services.

A portion of this exhibition fulfills this standard through diverse materials produced by federal governments for the protection and benefit of the public, both in state, and internationally.

5.4 How International Relationships Functions.

A portion of this exhibition fulfills this standard by having the viewer observe items from Global Conflicts.

5.4.6.A Identify how countries have varying interests.

A portion of this exhibition fulfills this standard by having primary sources that document interactions between the United States and European Countries.

5.4.6.B Explain the difference between allies and adversaries.

The entire exhibition demonstrates this standard by having primary and secondary sources that documents the states and countries who fought with and against each other during times of conflict.

8.1.6.A: Explain continuity and change over time using sequential order and context of events

The entire exhibition allows the viewer the opportunity to fulfill this standard through an examination of the various primary and secondary sources that changed over time. Beginning with the American Civil War to the present War on Global Terror.

8.2.5.B: Illustrate concepts and knowledge of historical documents, artifacts, and places critical to Pennsylvania history.

The entire exhibition demonstrates this standard by using various, diverse sources to illustrate artifacts, objects, and documents critical to Pennsylvania, The United States of America, and World history.

8.2.6. B: Describe the importance of significant historical documents, artifacts, and places critical to Pennsylvania history.

All the printed materials on display throughout this exhibition memorializes Pennsylvania's history.

Exhibition Team

  • Michael Gerdes, Secretary and Parliamentarian of the Senate
  • Alexandra Acri Barbush, Librarian of the Senate
  • Martavis Washington, Research & Exhibit Specialist
  • Donna Wheeler, Record Services Manager, Senate Library
  • George Soule, Research Services Manager, Senate Library
  • Jess Rodic, Assistant Secretary of the Senate
  • Ashley Haldeman, Executive Assistant, Office of the Secretary of the Senate

Democratic Caucus Operations Staff

  • Kristin Markle, Graphics Designer/Illustrator

Republican Communications Staff

  • Todd Krick, Director of Graphic Arts

Senate Print Shop/Digital Production

  • Chris Keller, Director
  • Caleb Gordon, Deputy Director

Other Organization and Individuals

  • Manhattan College Archives
  • Legislative Data Processing Center
  • Robert D. Hill, Military & Industrial History Curator, The State Museum of Pennsylvania
  • Laura S. Jowdy, CA, Archivist & Historical Collections Manager, Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS)
  • Brian Fulton, Times-Tribune, Scranton
  • Josh McAuliffe, Senior Writer, Penn State College of Liberal Arts
  • Stephanie Gray, Museum and Library Services, Antietam National Battlefield
  • Senator Ryan Aument
  • Senator Tracy Pennycuick
  • Lisa Walter, Chief of Staff
  • Senator Greg Rothman