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Color Guards give patriotic duty

By Staff | Jun 16, 2017

RUTH FRY/The Luminary (Left-Right): Louis Summers, flag holder Russ Gottschall, Richard McClain and John Berger, during a gun salute at Picture Rocks cemetery during Memorial Day ceremonies May 28, 2017. The veterans are members of Glenn Sharrow American Legion Post #35. Hughesville.  

PICTURE ROCKS – Parades would not be complete without a color guard unit. Neither would somber services in cemeteries, be it a burial or Memorial Day gatherings.

“I do it because I’m a veteran,” said Vietnam Navy veteran Russ Gottschall. “I don’t always carry the flag, we switch around and do whatever needs done,” he said. The former Navy man is a 46-year member of Post #35. His length of time with the color guard wasn’t recalled.

Gottschall said, “Although it varies, we serve at about 25 burials annually. Then there’s the Memorial Day parades and services at Hughesville and Picture Rocks and the local carnival. Post #35 plans to take part in the Lycoming County Veterans Day parade held at South Williamsport this year.”

The flag bearer noted that as the flag passes, everyone should stand. “Most do, but some don’t. Following September 9, 2011, there was a real boost in patriotism, it may be waning a bit now,” Gottschall said.

Flag day was instituted by the Continental Congress two hundred and forty years ago on June 14, 1777.