Changing of the Colors flag ceremony held
MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area Joint Veterans Committee held its 452nd Changing of the Colors flag ceremony March 16 at the flag pole at Susquehanna Bank in honor and memory of another veteran of America's Greatest Generation.
Ralph Thomas Kaseman was born in Shamokin, Aug. 28, 1918, a son of Freeman and Carrie (Badman) Kaseman, and a stepson of Charles Startzel who raised him after his father's death. He attended Shamokin area schools.
Kaseman entered the U.S. Navy in January 1942 and was honorably discharged as a pharmacist's mate second class on Nov. 4, 1945, at U.S. Navy Personnel Separation Center, Bainbridge, Md. He received the following medals: American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Medal, Okinawa Medal, World War II Honorable Discharge Pin and the Navy Honorable Discharge Pin.
On June 11, 1950, he married the former Regina Andrulezicz, who preceded him in death on Dec. 25, 1995.
Kaseman was employed with PPL for 32 years before retiring in 1983. He was a life member of Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 665 and American Legion Post 91, both of Mount Carmel.
He died Nov. 30, 2002, and is buried in All Saints Cemetery, Bear Gap. At the time of his death he was survived by two daughters, a granddaughter, a brother and a sister.
The flag that was flown the previous month was in honor and memory of Francis Vincent Kwiatkowski who served in the U.S. Navy during the Cold War era. Taps was sounded on the bugle by Ann Ray Begis as the flag was lowered by Anthony Candelora. The flag was folded by William Begis, James Kealy and Candelora, and was presented by Walt Summers to Kwiatkowski's wife, Gloria.
The Kaseman flag was escorted to the ceremony by Connie Andrews and was presented to Summers by Kaseman's daughter, Carol Gallagher. It was raised by Candelora as the National Anthem was played.
David Berezovske read the military record of both veterans.
The ceremony ended with a silent salute to all veterans. Summers thanked the families of both veterans and those in attendance for their participation.
Andrew Bubnis carried the American flag, and the rifle escort was provided by William Begis and Candelora. Kealy conducted traffic control.
Susquehanna Bank was thanked for displaying Kaseman's name on its message board.
The next ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. April 27 when the flag will be raised in honor and memory of Robert J. Wydra who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Area veterans and the public are invited. The committee will meet at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2110 immediately following the ceremony to discuss Memorial Day activities and to nominate and elect officers.