UH Geauga Medical Center honors veterans at flag retirement ceremony

Nov. 13—University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center honored local military veterans with a flag retirement ceremony on Nov. 13.

Local organizations such as the Geauga Veterans Service Commission and American Legion-Burton Post 459, conducted the public ceremony in efforts to educate the community and retire the American flag with dignity, honor and respect, according to a news release.

"Veterans are an integral pillar of our community and it's important that we pay our respect and recognize their importance," Alan J. Papa, chief operating officer of UH East Region, stated in the release "Geauga has a strong veteran community, including many of our own caregivers at UH Geauga.

"We remain committed to honoring and engaging with our veterans because they have selflessly served to protect our freedoms."

The flag ceremony was held outside the main entrance. The event was open to the public, and UH Geauga provided transportation to patients staying at the hospital that were able to attend.

In attendance was one of the oldest Geauga county veterans, Elmer Bollinger. A local naval veteran and UH patient, Bollinger was raised in Burton and joined U.S. Navy on May 27, 1946.

"I have been fortunate to support and benefit from the growth of Corey Hospital into what is now UH Geauga Medical Center," Bollinger stated in the release. "It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of this community that we have access to great healthcare close to where we live."

"Veterans Day is an important reminder of the sacrifices so many veterans and families have made," said Jason Glowczewski, chief operating officer of UH Geauga, Conneaut & Geneva, in the release. "Furthermore, it's necessary to honor the local heroes in our community for their bravery, courage and patriotism."