MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area Joint Veterans Committee held its 451st Changing of the Colors flag ceremony Feb. 23 at the flag pole of the Susquehanna Bank in honor and memory of Francis Vincent Kwiatkowski, a veteran of the Cold War era.

Kwiatkowski was born Feb. 18, 1932, in Atlas, a son of Anthony (Kwiatkowski) and Theresa (Becker) Flowers. He was a 1950 graduate of Mount Carmel Township High School.

Kwiatkowski enlisted in the U.S. Navy Jan. 10, 1951, at Baltimore, and was honorably discharged as a seaman Nov. 5, 1954, at U.S. Navy SEPACT, New London, Conn. He received his training at the U.S. Naval Training Station in Newport, R.I. He served aboard the USS Petrel (ASR-14), a Chantilleer class submarine rescue ship, and was stationed at the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in New London.

Kwiatkowski received the National Defense Service Medal. Total service to the country was 3 years, 9 months and 26 days, of which sea and/or foreign service was 3 years, 7 months and 10 days.

On July 30, 1955, in St. Paul's Chapel, Atlas, he married the former Gloria Taddeo, who survives.

Kwiatkowski was employed by Arcos Industries, Mount Carmel Township. He was a member of Divine Redeemer Church, Mount Carmel, and the Atlas Fire Company, and was a former member of St. Pau's Chapel.

Kwiatkowski died Jan. 9, 2014, and is buried in All Saints Cemetery, Bear Gap. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons, two daughters, 15 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a sister and a brother.

The flag that was flown for the past month was in honor and memory of John F. Shimock Jr., who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Taps was sounded by the bugle by William Begis while the flag was lowered by Anthony Candelora. The flag was folded by James Kealy, Ann Ray Begis and Candelora. The flag was presented to Connie Andrews by Walter Summers.

The Kwiatkowski flag was escorted to the ceremony by Andrews and was presented by Kwiatkowski's wife, Gloria. The flag was raised by Candelora during the playing of the national anthem. David Berezovske read the military records of both veterans. The ceremony ended with a silent salute to all veterans. Summers thanked the families and those in attendance for their participation.

Norman Nye carried the American flag. The rifle escort was provided by Andrew Bubnis and Larry Latsko. Kealy provided traffic control.

The Susquehanna Bank was thanked for displaying Kwiatkowski's name on its message board. The Mount Carmel Area High School television station WKMC was also thanked for taping the ceremony.

The next flag ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at Second and Oak streets when the flag will be raised in honor and memory of Ralph T. Kaseman, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Area veterans and the public are invited.