By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
SHARON, Pa. -- Leo Germadnik of Yankee Run Road, Brookfield, knew exactly where he wanted to go for his 83rd birthday Thursday.
It's the same place he's gone every June 14 for the past 14 years -- the front steps of the Sharon municipal building on Connelly Boulevard for the annual Flag Day ceremony held by Mayor Robert T. Price.
"I never miss this down here," Germadnik said as he sat atop a brick wall along a handicapped access ramp to the building. He had to view the ceremony from a seated position, he said, because he can't stand for too long.
He said he's never regretted sharing his birthday with a national holiday.
"I fly a flag every day," he said, noting he has his own flagpole at home and flies Old Glory 24 hours a day, replacing the flag about three times a year as it becomes worn.
"I used to walk up and down State Street, when I could walk better, and tell businesses to fly the flag," he said.
The World War II veteran, who was wounded fighting in the Philippines, said he loves seeing the flag flying.
"It makes me feel good. It inspires me," he said.
Germadnik said he's pleased to see the interest in Sharon's Flag Day ceremony growing.
Growing numbers: Price said the first event drew just a dozen people, but 200 called his office to register for this year's program, which featured a free lunch after the ceremony.
Price introduced Germadnik to the crowd, which gave him a birthday ovation.
Price came in for some recognition himself, with Sharon American Legion Post 299 presenting him with a proclamation thanking him for creating the ceremony.
It will be his last. He's retiring at the end of the year.
Sons of the American Legion Post 299 also presented Price with a proclamation and a $500 check to help pay for the ceremony. The organization vowed to make the same donation every year in Price's honor.