CHAGRIN FALLS — When the Laurels of Chagrin Falls had its new flagpole installed recently, officials there took the opportunity to honor their veterans — many of whom served in World War II — as well as guests who served in the military. The special commemoration was organized by Karen Len-Williams, the administrator of the skilled nursing and long-term care facility, with participation from the Twinsburg VFW Post 4929 Color Guard.

The facility teamed up with Hospice of the Western Reserve, which offers community veterans recognition ceremonies as part of its Peaceful and Proud program. Christine Levy, marketing director and Molly Spencer, activities director, worked with provider relations manager Lynn Hermensky at HWR to coordinate details for this special day of celebration.

Representatives from HWR and the VFW thanked each veteran by name for his or her service to country and honored each with a special commemorative pin. Veterans received a "thank you" salute from a Color Guard member. The national anthem was sung in the background as the Color Guard unfurled and raised the American flag for the first time against the blue summer sky.

"It was picture-perfect day, and our guests were so thrilled and proud to be honored for their service," Len-Williams said. "It was lovely to see the veterans beam with pride as their names were called out and they received their pins. Even those who may have memory deficits stood at attention and saluted.

"It was quite emotional and very humbling to witness." 

Veterans of World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and every branch of the military participated in the ceremony, along with proud family members of those being honored.