The “Star Spangled Banner” rang out as Joe O’Rourke, a Vietnam War veteran, raised the American flag at the Lawncrest Recreation Center during a Veteran’s Day ceremony Sunday.
Lawncrest residents gave their support and appreciation to veterans from the Vietnam, Korean, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Organizer Kathy Wersinger, a neighborhood liaison for Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco, D-9th, welcomed guest speakers Judge Patrick Dugan and Councilman-at-large David Oh to the ceremony.
Bill Dolbow, Lawncrest Community Association president, also addressed the crowd.
“I’d like to thank everyone here, especially the veterans,” Dolbow said. “’Thank you’ is not a big enough word to express our gratitude to all our veterans and everyone who participated in our clean up yesterday as well as our service today.”
Volunteers from LaSalle University, Tacony Academy Charter School, Philadelphia Catholic League, Lawncrest Town Watch, Lawncrest Community Association and Lawncrest Library met at the rec center Saturday to rake leaves, remove trash and repaint park benches in preparation for the ceremony.
“Sixty volunteers came and took 74 bags of leaves and trash out of the park,” Dolbow said. “Our efforts prove that when a community comes together we can get things done. God bless our veterans and God bless our country.”
Lucia Volpe and Jessica Lopez are students reporting for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the publication of Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.