American Legion Post 781 honors first responders

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MOUNTAIN TOP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Those formerly on the front lines of wars are paying forward their thanks to those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meant as a sign of thanks for service, a tradition of cutting out stars from retired American flags and giving them as reminders continues.

Judy Buff, auxiliary resident of American Legion Post 781 tells us, “It was a reminder that the U.S. flag flew over somebody’s home in the United States and it was to remind them that they weren’t forgotten, nor were they alone.”

Still customary as a reminder for those overseas, these stars are meant for heroes here at home.

“For people who have served in the community by taking care of the elderly, taking care of the sick and with the coronavirus; they’re putting their lives in danger every day. They’re trying to protect us so it doesn’t go any further,” Buff added.

Local police and EMTs from nearby Fairview, Rice and Wright Townships were in attendance to be honored by a military tradition with a twist.

“I have a lot of family members in the service, of all branches, and my hats are off to them. It means a lot,” said Chief Royce Engler of the Wright Township Police Department.

More than 300 stars from retired American flags now on their way to first responders with simple instructions, and a simple message.

“They would like them to put them in their pocket and whenever they put their hand in their pocket they can know that someone is thinking of them, somebody has them in their prayers, they’re not forgotten and they’re not alone,” Buff explained.

Buff says the credit for this effort goes to Ava Groth, a member of the junior auxiliary for Post 781.

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