MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area Joint Veterans Committee held its 434th Changing of the Colors flag ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 23 at the flag pole at the Susquehanna Bank in honor and memory of a veteran of the war to end all wars.

John William Reichwein was born in Lavelle on Jan. 5, 1896, the son of John and Elizabeth (Stahl) Reichwein. He was educated at Saint Mauritius School, Ashland. Prior to his service to his county, he worked on the family farm.

Reichwein entered the U.S. Army on Nov. 3, 1917, and was honorably discharged as a private on April 19, 1919. As part of the American Expeditionary Force under General John J. Pershing, he served in France during World War I where he was wounded when struck in the arm by shrapnel.

In 1917, Reichwein married Eileen Cannon, who preceded him in death in 1918. In 1920, he married Ann Krapf, who preceded him in death in 1923. In 1925, he married Catherine Boche, who preceded him in death in 1944. On Jan. 7, 1945, he married Catherine Gallagher in Mount Carmel; she preceded him in death in 1963.

Self-employed, he operated Reichwein's Grocery Store in Locust Gap for 24 years. He was a member of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Holy Name Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2110, Knights of Columbus Bishop Lawrence F. Schott Council 628, and the Anthracite Steam Fire Company No. 1, all of Mount Carmel.

He died on Feb. 23, 1974, and is buried in Saint Mary's Cemetery, Beaverdale. At the time of his death, he was survived by two sons, seven daughters, 21 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a brother.

The flag that was flown for the past month was in honor and memory of Thomas N. Shuda, who served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. Taps was played on the bugle by Vincent Giacomini while the flag was lowered by Anthony Candelora. Folded by William Begis and Candelora, the flag was presented to Connie Andrews by Walter Summers.

The Reichwein flag was escorted to the service by Summers. The flag was presented by Reichwein's daughter, Catherine Fantini, to Summers for raising. Candelora raised the flag as the national anthem was played. David Berezovske read the military records of both veterans. Summers led everyone in reciting the Lord's Prayer. The ceremony ended with a silent salute to all veterans. Summers thanked the families and friends in attendance for their participation in the ceremony.

Charles Noskoviak carried the American flag and the rifle escort was provided by Andrew Bubnis and Begis, Berezovske provided traffic control. Also participating in the ceremony was Andrew Lukoskie.

The next flag ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at Second and Oak Streets when the flag will be raised in honor and memory of Robert G. Smith, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Area veterans and the public are invited to attend.