Township Honors Northampton Patriots at Flag Ceremony
Two sets of parents of Northampton patriots participated in a flag ceremony at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
As part of the township's Patriot Flag program, two families were honored for their sons' participation in the military. Army Major Eric Swenson and Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Moscola's parents participated in the flag exchange and placement at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, June 27.
Janet and Ray Swenson attended the ceremony to claim the Army flag in the township's display that represents their son, Maj. Swenson. He has twice before reclaimed that flag after serving in Iraq on two separate occasions. On Sept. 21, 2011, his flag went back in the display as he was deployed to Afghanistan. He has since returned, and is now stationed in Germany, so his parents did him the honors of exchanging the U.S. flag for his Army Flag.
"I would like to thank everybody in the community for all of the support for three deployments," Janet Swenson said after exchanging her son's flag. "This is a symbol for all the times he has gone over seas and returned home safely."
Another Northampton resident Lance Cpl. Michael Moscola recently deployed to the area of Jordon, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Moscola's parents, Carol and Bill, added a flag to the display in his honor.
"I would like to thank the township for acknowledging all the military and thank all the military present," Carol Moscola said, fighting back tears. She added that she never knew how much Sept. 11, 2001, would have an affect on her son.
Chairman Rothermel, who led the parents to the display during the ceremony said that it is right for the township to honor the sacrifice of the men and women from the community who serve in the military.
"Anything we can do as a community, just tell us and we will try to help," Rothermel said.
Back in 2003, the Board of Supervisors introduced the Northampton Patriots flag program to honor residents serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The program has since expanded to include Afghanistan and other hostile areas.
When the program first launched, 24 residents were known to be serving in the military. The flag display holds flags representing the branch of service and identifying the resident with a yellow streamer with his or her name affixed to it. When the person returns home—and so far 67 have—his or her military flag is replaced with an American flag. Currently, there are 74 flags displayed, six of which are waiting to be exchanged for American flags upon their representatives safe return.