Remembering the Sacrifice

RALPHO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Hundreds gathered near a giant cross on a mountain for an Easter service in Northumberland County.

Whether by foot or by bus, hundreds made their way up Paxinos Mountain in Northumberland County. A giant cross met them at the top of the mountain overlooking Route 61 and the valley just outside Elysburg.

For close to 60 years, this Easter service has been held on the mountain.

"Being on top of the mountain and thinking about the beauty that he provides when you look down the mountain, it all comes together and gives you the chills," said Susan Waraksa of Shamokin.

Sisters Theresa Price and Alice Buriak have been coming for the past decade.

"It's something to be up here in the mountains. The view is excellent. The service is always good. It's wonderful," said Buriak of Danville.

Ethan Knoebel of Elysburg was one of the people that trekked up the mountain for the service.

"I have been hiking up the past few years. I find it a little more rewarding when you hike up the trail. It's spectacular, and I look forward to it every single year," Knoebel said.

Harvey Buriak of Danville remembers putting the first cross up in the '80s. Now, an aluminum cross sits atop the mountain.

Thanks to the Elysburg Boy Scout troop's efforts to clean the area, people attending the service had a place to sit.

"We have 300 people that come up here, but if one person comes to know the Lord, it will be worth it all," said Harvey Buriak.

The threat of rain almost forced the service to be at Grace Chapel, but instead, the sun was shining on the mountain.

"It's a moving service on top of a mountain. You think about the Lord on top of the cross on top of a hill, and he would offer himself for me. I get tearful when I think about what the Lord did for me," Waraksa added.

Organizers say the cross is solar powered and will shine at night year-round.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.