442nd flag marks 20 years of changing colors in Mount Carmel
MOUNT CARMEL - On May 30, 1993, the five memorials erected on the lot of the Susquehanna Bank at Second and Oak streets were dedicated by VFW Post 2110. At that time, the first flag raised over the monuments was in honor and memory of U.S. Army veteran Sgt. Phillip A. Cimino.
Twenty years later, on Sunday, May 26, the 442nd flag was raised in honor and memory of a veteran of the civil war, George P. Parry, who was born Aug. 8, 1839.
A blacksmith by trade, he enrolled in Company E, 55th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (The Ringgold Rifle Company) at Minersville and was mustered into service at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Aug. 28, 1861, as a private.
He reenlisted Jan. 1, 1864, at Beaufort, S.C., and transferred to Company C on April 27, 1864.
He was promoted to sergeant on Sept. 27, 1864 and to second lieutenant on May 15, 1865.
Among the battles he participated in were Edisto Island, S.C.; Cold Harbor, the Petersburg Campaign, Chaffins Farms, and the Appomattox campaign, all in Virgina. He was mustered out with his company on Aug. 30, 1865, at Petersburg.
Following the war, Parry moved to Mount Carmel. He was employed by the Reading Railroad for 24 years, and was the engineer for 11 years of the peewee passenger train, which ran from the station at Fifth and Market streets to Mount Carmel Junction. He was a member of Burnside Post No.92, Grand Army of the Republic.
Parry died April 6, 1895, and is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Mount Carmel Township. A widower at the time of his death, he was survived by a son and two daughters.
The flag that was flown for the past month was in honor and memory of Walter V. Wanzie, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
"Taps" was sounded on the bugle by Larry Latsko as the flag was lowered by Anthony Candelora. The flag was folded by William Begis, James Kealy and Candelora, and was presented to Wanzie's wife, Jacqueline, by Walter Summers.
Charles Nostoviak carried the American flag and the rifle escort was provided by Norman Nye and Candelora. Kealy provided traffic control. Also participating was Mount Carmel Mayor J.Kevin Jones, past commander of James A. Garfield Camp No.34, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.
The flag that was flown for the ceremony was donated by Robert Parker, a member of the Garfield Camp, in memory of his great, great-grandfather Lambert Ruffing, private in Company B, 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry, and his great-great-uncle Lancelot Parker, a private in Company 1, 48th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
The Susquehanna Bank was thanked for displaying Parry's name on its message board.
The next flag ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at the flag pole of the Susquehanna Bank. Area veterans and the public are invited to attend.