Whitehall-Coplay Press

Saturday, December 16, 2017
Press Photos by Samantha AndersonWhitehall Township Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. and state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th, address the crowd gathered for the ceremonial flag raising at Briarwood Commons, Whitehall, Nov. 17. The event honored veterans and their services. Press Photos by Samantha AndersonWhitehall Township Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. and state Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th, address the crowd gathered for the ceremonial flag raising at Briarwood Commons, Whitehall, Nov. 17. The event honored veterans and their services.
U.S. Army veteran Claude Kohl, Charles Banta and U.S. Army veteran Frank Groller raise the flag for the first time. The flag, which used to fly above the Pennsylvania State Capitol, was donated by Boscola. U.S. Army veteran Claude Kohl, Charles Banta and U.S. Army veteran Frank Groller raise the flag for the first time. The flag, which used to fly above the Pennsylvania State Capitol, was donated by Boscola.

Flag raising honors those who served

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by Samantha Anderson sanderson@tnonline.com in Local News

Briarwood Commons, a 55-and-over community in Whitehall, celebrated their veterans with a ceremonial flag raising Nov. 17. State Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-18th, and Whitehall Township Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. joined the community to honor veterans.

It had been discussed in the community that a flagpole should be erected, according to Briarwood Commons Homeowners Association President Lisa Rusnock. She also mentioned veterans make up a quarter of their community, so it made sense to use this moment to honor their service. The names of 12 veterans currently living in the community, as well as two deceased, were printed in the event’s program to thank them for their service.

The American flag, which now flies proudly at the intersection of Briarwood and Bayberry lanes, used to fly over the Pennsylvania State Capitol. Boscola donated the flag to the community and spoke warmly of her father and his service to the country as a U.S. Marine. She described veterans as the heartbeat of our country and remarked on how lucky we all are to have those who volunteer to serve our country.

Hozza pointed out this flag now sits on one of the highest points in Whitehall and offered congratulations to all who made the event possible.

“Every village in Whitehall has an area set aside to honor veterans. I’m very pleased to have it here,” Hozza said.

After the speakers finished, Claude Kohl, U.S. Army veteran from 1952 to 1955; Charles Banta; and Frank “Flagpole” Groller, U.S. Army veteran from 1969 to 1971, joined together to raise the flag for the first time. The crowd then united to sing a verse of “My Country Tis of Thee” before heading back to the clubhouse for refreshments.