HARRISBURG – This week, Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) and Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) introduced and spoke on a condolence resolution that they offered on behalf of First Class Petty Officer Harry Milton Beal (USN, Retired).

Harry Milton Beal was born on August 16, 1930, in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania.  At the age of 18, he enlisted in the United States Navy as a gunner’s mate aboard the U.S.S. Shenandoah.  In 1955, he joined the specialized underwater demolition team.  On January 1, 1962, the Navy established the SEAL (Sea, Air & Land) Program.  Harry was the first to volunteer for the SEALs.  Ultimately, Harry was deployed for more than seven years of his 20-year Navy career.  Most famously, Harry was credited with pulling Astronaut John Glenn out of the water after his Mercury-Atlas 6 space mission in February 1962.  Later, Harry became a SEAL instructor, serving until his retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1968.  Harry went on to work for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for twenty years.  He was married to Marjorie Jane (Bowman) Beal for 67 years.  On January 26, 2021, Harry passed away at the age of 90.

“As an elected official, one of our hardest tasks is to find the words to reflect upon the life of one of our constituents — let alone a soldier or veteran,” said Sen. Stefano. “No matter how many times I have done it, it is still difficult for me to say goodbye to those that did so much for this great country.  Harry Beal lived an extraordinary life, believing in the ideals of this great nation, believing in his mission, and making a difference in the world.  While we can’t ease his loved one’s pain, we can honor and remember Harry — much like we did in 2019, when we named the Bridge along State Route 2047 in Meyersdale Borough, over the Flaugherty Creek, as the Harry Beal Bridge.  May you rest in peace, my friend; thank you for your service.”

“When President John F. Kennedy called for volunteers for a new unit called the SEALs in 1962, Harry Beal was the first to answer without hesitation. Harry epitomized what we now refer to as the greatest generation of Americans and we are forever indebted to him for his bravery and service to this great nation,” said Langerholc. “Men like Harry Beal have set a standard that many today strive to achieve.  Honor, integrity, strength, duty are words they lived by and never let us forget how the heroic actions of one individual from Somerset changed this country. I’m certain the legacy of Harry Beal will live on to inspire others.”

Senators Stefano and Langerholc introduced Senate Resolution 41.

Click HERE for a link to Senator Stefano’s Speech.

Click HERE for a link to Senator Langerholc’s Speech. 

CONTACTS:   Nathan Silcox (Stefano), 717-787-7175, nsilcox@pasen.gov

                        Gwenn Dando (Langerholc) 717-787-5400, gdando@pasen.gov

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