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Memorial Day Observance in Laflin

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LAFLIN -- People in Laflin observed Memorial Day with the community's annual wreath-laying ceremony at a park near the center of the borough in Luzerne County.

Members of the community call this Memorial Day service "modest."

An Army veteran read the names of the 92 veterans from the borough who have served, the 12 who currently serve, and the four who died serving.

About 40 people gathered beneath the pavilion at Creekside Community Playground to honor the sacrifices of those who fought and died.

"You hear those names, then you hear taps playing, and it's tough," said Rob Watkins of Laflin.

This year, Girl Scout Bianca Mazzarella and her mother made the short walk from the pavilion to the monument outside the park to lay a commemorative wreath.

"It's such immense pride that I have for my country at this moment, and the fact that I was doing something with it, and displaying my pride, and displaying my unity for the community. It meant a lot to me, and I felt like I was doing something and having a purpose," said Bianca Mazzarella.

For Rob Watkins, who read 108 names, including his own, the observance hit home.

"I have some family members. My wife's father's father served. His name was mentioned. My next-door neighbor was mentioned. There are a few that mean a lot to me," said Watkins.

And for others in Laflin, this is a yearly Memorial Day ritual that helps keep this community tight-knit.