MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area Joint Veterans Committee held its 440th "Changing of the Colors" flag ceremony on Sunday, March 17, at the Susquehanna Bank flag pole in honor and memory of a veteran who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Joseph M. Shamansky was born June 26, 1919, in Danville, a son of Stephen and Gezilla (Harrison) Shamansky. He was a 1936 graduate of Mount Carmel High School.

Shamansky entered the U.S. Army Air Corps on Feb. 20, 1940, in Harrisburg and was honorably discharged as a master sergeant with 806th Engineer Squadron on Oct. 26, 1945, at Separation Center, Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

Along with a number of other men from Mount Carmel, Shamansky was stationed on Hawaii when the Japanese attacked United States bases there on Dec. 7, 1941. Residing off base on Waikiki Beach, he would spend that fateful day at Hickam Field during the attack.

Deployed in both the European and Pacific Theaters during World Ward II, he received the following medals: American Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Europe-Africa-Middle East Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Honorable Discharge Pin.

Total service to his country was 5 years, 8 months and 6 days, of which foreign service was 3 years, 4 months and 18 days.

He was married in Rothsville on Jan. 8, 1949, to former Helen Sokol, who preceded him in death on July 17, 1994.

Shamansky was employed as a machinist with TRW, Inc., Danville, and also worked for PennDOT. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2110, American legion Post 91, a life member of the Clover Hose Company and a former member of Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Anthracite Steam Fire Company No. 1, all of Mount Carmel.

Shamansky died Jan. 1 and is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Mount Carmel Township. He is survived by a son and a daughter, three grandsons, four granddaughters and a great-granddaughter.

The flag that was flown for the past month was in honor of Michael R. Tanney Sr., who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Taps was played on the bugle by Walter Summers as the flag was lowered by Andrew Bubnis. The flag was folded by Anthony Candelora, James Kealy and Bubnis.

The Shamansky flag was escorted to the service by Connie Andrews. The flag was presented by Shamansky's daughter Sharon Staniewicz to Summers. Bubnis raised the flag as the national anthem was played. David Berezovske read the military records of both veterans. The ceremony ended with a prayer and a silent salute to all veterans. Summers thanked the families and friends of both veterans in attendance for their participation in the ceremony.

Charles Noskoviak carried the American flag and the rifle escort was provided by Bubnis and Candelora. James Kealy provided traffic control.

The next flag ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. April 21 at Second and Oak Streets where the flag will be raised in honor and memory of Walter V. Wanzie, who served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. Area veterans and the public are invited to attend.

Immediately after the ceremony on April 21, the Joint Veterans Committee will meet at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2110. Activities for the Memorial Day holiday will be discussed and nominations and election of officers will be held. All organizations are asked to send representatives.