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My father’s flag and marker vanished — but thanks to the Lilly American Legion — it reappeared today

… thank you very much John Sweeney

Memorial Day in America is an observance that focuses on those who have given their lives in the service of their country.

However, one of the special recollections that I have of my early years in my hometown of Lilly, Pa. Is going to the cemeteries and looking at the flags of the veterans who had served our countries.

As a Boy Scout, we would march in the parade and sell poppies to commemorate the event.

And then, on October 1, 1989, my father passed away, and at the cemetery, representatives of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars presented our family with a flag that symbolized his service during World War II.

My dad did not have to enter the service, but at the age of 38, he did so. He remained stateside, but he left a wife and two children like so many others did to be part of the war effort.

From that time on, he had a marker and flag beside his tombstone until it disappeared.

Cliff notes version, I asked John Sweeney, my older friend and former Lilly Raider football player, if he could help me have it replaced. This actually started last fall when I went to the cemetery after our reunion with Tony Stopka and realized that the marker was missing. He mentioned that I should talk with John, and today that was done.

Thanks to all veterans today, but especially to the Francis L. McCool American Legion Post 628 and to John for doing that and for everything they have done for the veterans in Lilly over the years. My dad always belonged and my mother was a member of the legion auxiliary many years ago.

And thanks to Tony Stopka who was my go-between in having this done.

It is greatly appreciated.

Hugh B. Conrad, Sr.

United States Navy, 1944

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