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Honoring red, white and blue

June 15, 2013

They honored the Stars and Stripes.


The Knights of Columbus John F. Kennedy Council in Pittston held a Flag Day ceremony Friday in downtown Pittston.


The tribute was led by Knights Faithful Navigator Fran Akenbrand and Rick Korpuski of Pittston.


Flag Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the stars and stripes as the symbol of our nation by Congress in 1777.


Korpuski said this ceremony allows people to take a step back, appreciate the great country we live in and the sacrifices that have been made for it.


“People sometimes misplace what our country is,” Korpuski said. “It’s good to see the Greater Pittston Area coming together and it allows us to appreciate the benefits we so freely enjoy today.”


The event included the participation of the Knights of Columbus Color Corps, Dupont V.F.W. Honor Guard, Pittston City Fire Company and the Knights of Columbus Choir.


Each organization marched row by row from the Knights home on Main Street and proceeded to Pittston Fire Headquarters.


Akenbrand thanked the community for participating in the occasion and said this was a positive promotion for our country and the community.


“We come here from different organizations and backgrounds but with the raising of the flag, it’s clear that we are all one,” Akenbrand said.


The Dupont V.F.W. Honor Guard performed a ceremonial gun salute once the flag was raised and guest speaker Jerry Guarneri a Desert Storm Veteran, assured Akenbrand’s words to be true.


“I was in Desert Storm,” he said. “However, raise your hand if you ever served in any war or know somebody who currently serves. We are all one and now I want each and every one of you give those people and yourselves a round of applause for being here today.”


The Knights of Columbus Choir followed afterwards singing in unison patriotic songs including, God Bless America, MyCountry ‘Tis of Thee, America the Beautiful, and the Battle Hymn of the Republic.


Hot dogs and drinks were made available to the public when the ceremony concluded.


“Events like this give us a sense of being and the Knights of Columbus always try to be a positive influence for the community,” Akenbrand said.


The Knights of Columbus sponsored an event for the Veterans of the Vietnam War and the Veterans Coalition on the same night with funds going towards care packages, housing, and healthcare for veterans.


Entertainment was provided by Danny Argo and food specials included hot dogs, burgers, wimpies and clam chowder.


The Knights of Columbus will sponsor a fundraiser for the Pittston Library on July 12. Entertainment will be provided by the Phil Hopkins Trio.