World War II Veteran Hands Out Patriotism Free of Charge

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WILKES-BARRE -- In an effort to make the city of Wilkes-Barre shine before the Fourth of July, a World War II veteran was handing out free American flags.

Jim Walsh, 92, woke up Wednesday morning on a mission to make the city beam with patriotism, free of charge.

"Every morning I thank God for being born in America. I love it and I'm saddened by what's happening," Walsh said.

Walsh is a World War II veteran who even served in one of the deadliest attacks of the war, the Battle of the Bulge. He wants to remind people to be thankful for the America he, his family, and his friends fought so hard to save.

"I'm hopeful they'll recognize that that's not just a piece of cloth. The flag of our nation represents everything that's good in our nation," Walsh said.

He teamed up with his Marine son Mike to make the city a little more red, white, and blue before Independence Day.

"He's known in the city, I guess, as the flag man. He's very patriotic," Mike Walsh said.

They said it is the least they could do, but it is putting the biggest smiles on people's faces.

"I worked for the VA and I served veterans and they deserve every ounce of respect," Melana Khalife of Wilkes-Barre said.

Jim and Mike Walsh started out with 50 beautiful American flags earlier Wednesday morning and they were able to hand them all out in just two hours.

"It was inspiring that someone loves their country so much to be able to give the other residents a part of what he believes is the best country in the world," Jacqueline McCarthy of Wilkes-Barre said.

After nine decades in northeastern Pennsylvania, he said he has learned it is the littlest things that can make the biggest difference in Wilkes-Barre.

"We've got to really dig down deep in our heart and see what's happening and say I'm going to do something better," Walsh said.

He just hopes that people carry away more than just a flag.


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