Last updated: June 12. 2014 11:15PM - 1321 Views
By - tkellar@timesleader.com

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HANOVER TWP. — The remains of veterans from over the decades can be found resting in Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Some of them back to the American Revolution.

A ceremony will be held today to reunite those veterans with the flag that they served under.

Members of the American Legion Post No. 0673 out of Ashley will be conducting a service to bury a number of flags that were cremated. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. at the cemetery’s flagpole and is open to the public.

Cemetery Administrator Charles Prohaska said the flags will be placed in an urn and buried in a section in the cemetery where military veterans are also buried.

This is the first year that the ceremony is being held.

Brian Leffler, owner of Kniffen O’ Malley Funeral Home, said his business started cremating flags for different veteran groups. What started out as a few Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion groups soon began to grow, and so did the number of flags.

That’s when Leffler said the idea to hold a ceremony was thought of. Although the exact number of flags was not counted, Leffler said a few thousand will be buried during the ceremony.

“I think it’s a nice way to honor the veterans also for their hard work,” Leffler said. “It brings it full circle as far as beyond just disposing of the flag.”

Neither Leffler nor Prohaska had any expectation as to how many people would attend the cemetery. Leffler noted the ceremony comes just a day before Flag Day.

Prohaska also thought the ceremony was a fitting way to reunite the 1,200 buried veterans in the cemetery with the flag that they served, and fought, under.

“It’s great because no one else has done it around here,” Prohaska said. “I think veterans should be honored, and the flag should honored.”

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