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Korean Veteran Roger Kroeck salutes the flag

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – Mayor Loretta Gluckstein and all councilmembers able to come without employment conflicts were present for the symbolic flag raising ceremony at Veterans Park and Borough Hall honoring all veterans who served in Korea on the federal observation of Korean Armistice Day Monday, July 27.

Through an action promoted by Councilman Jon Crowley in response to a concern raised by a borough resident, the American flag at both locations was raised to full staff for a moment at the start of the work day at 8:30, with Borough Streets Department Supervisor Roger Kroeck having the honor of posting the flag to full staff.

Present for the brief ceremony was Roger Kroeck, Sr. a Korean War veteran who lost his right leg due to  his second injury in Korea in 1952.  Borough Administrator Adam Hubeny, who was also present at the ceremony with Mayor Gluckstein, and Councilmembers Crowley, Brian Boms, Lori Hohenleitner, and Steve Boracchia, directed the two flags be raised simultaneously with another borough employee raising the banner above borough hall. 

Veteran Kroeck, who had enlisted in the Army and planned on making a career in military service, underwent dozens of surgeries and hospitalizations both before and after his leg was amputated in 1953, forcing him to give up his military ambitions.

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PHOTO: Members of the public and the Mayor and Council attended the flag raising

As he, the Mayor, members of Council and a small group gathered at Veterans Park, placed their hands over their hearts, the younger Kroeck raised the flag momentarily as the group observed a moment of silence, than lowered it to half-staff.

Although President Trump had ordered all flags lowered to half staff for a single day on the day Congressman John Louis died July 17, Governor Murphy directed that flags on government buildings in New Jersey remain at half-staff until the Congressman’s funeral, which is now set for Thursday at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Alabama, the native state of the Georgia Congressman.

Allan Conover, a former police sergeant in the borough, presented a handmade American flag to the road department director to present to his father. Conover makes the flags from pallets, painting the red stripes, blue background and stars, and staining the background for the six white stripes to show the natural contours of the wood.  His flags are for sale and able to be seen at ACPalletstuff on Facebook.

The Korean veteran thanked the Mayor and Council for the tribute to all Korean veterans, thanked Conover for the presentation, and said he appreciated the honor paid to all Korean veterans because of the action of this community.

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