Veterans continue military tradition with first responders

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

To many, it’s just a scrap of cloth. To veterans, this means the world. What else means the world to veterans today? The work of those on the front lines of this 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.

“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,” Judy Buff, auxiliary president of American Legion Post 781, said.

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 said.

Local police and EMTs from nearby Fairview, Rice and Wright Townships 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,” Wright Township Police Chief Royce Engler said.

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 said.

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

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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