PALMYRA, Pa. (WHTM) — A 70-year-old flag belonging to a World War I veteran was reunited with family Saturday at a special ceremony in Palmyra, Lebanon County.
The 48-star flag sat for years in storage at the American Legion in Newport, Perry County. It was only recently discovered and with a little research, now back with family.
The flag belongs to Master Sergeant E. Maurice Shively, who was born in Newport.
A big ceremony was held at the American Legion in Palmyra after the historian for Post 72 went searching for answers.
“Within 20 days they found a couple of family members. We found the daughter who is still alive,” said Chuck Yaeger, squadron commander of American Legion Post 72. “She’s in Brick, New Jersey. Unfortunately due to medical reasons, she could not make it today.”
Still, legion riders from New Jersey and across the area showed up to show support.
“It is our honor here today to return to his family a small portion of him, his flag, a symbol which he stood for, for many years in serving his country,” said Christopher Gross, commander of American Legion Post 177.
Shively’s grandson, also Maurice Shively, is now in possession of the flag.
“I never thought anything like this. There is a flag at home but I don’t know whose it is then if this is his,” Shively said.
Shively never got to meet his grandfather, who died before he was born, but heard stories from his grandmother.
“When the war started they could only fly flat and level and she always said that he was part of the team that made the planes turn and loop,” Shively said.
The flag is not only a piece of history but now a special keepsake for Shively to remember and honor his grandfather’s service.
“I’ve never seen sewn stars on a flag. It’s amazing,” Shively said.
Shively says his grandfather’s flag will now be displayed proudly on his fireplace.