Nearly 100 people came out for the Boyertown American Legion Post 471 flagpole dedication in honor of veteran Robert (Bob) Ellis on July 3.

“Ellis is the epitome of what a true hero, husband, father and friend looks like. It’s because of his conduct, service and commitment to this great country, it is truly a blessing and a privilege to honor him as we dedicate this new flagpole in his honor,” said Chaplain Mark Malizzi of the Boyertown Legion.

The crowd gathered around the area of the flagpole for the dedication ceremony.

“The pride that you feel in Boyertown and the love and support that we have for our veterans, it just shows when you have opportunities like this,” said Malizzi. “People were lining the street and around the pole, it really felt wonderful to see the support and heart of our community for our veterans.”

Malizzi provided the Invocation and served as MC of the dedication ceremony.

“Ellis has been a part of the Boyertown Legion for over 70 years, plus he was part of Boyertown baseball and many other components of the Boyertown community for years,” he said. “He has done so much for our community as a veteran but also as part of the American Legion.”

Ellis, age 96, joined the Air Force in 1943 and was honorably discharged in 1946. He is a lifelong member of the Boyertown community and he joined the Boyertown American Legion in 1947 where he has served in many different rolls from board member to Post Commander. He has been a member of Post 471 for 74 years.

Ellis and his wife, Emma Shirey (deceased) together raised four children: David Ellis (deceased), Robert Ellis, Kathy Echols and Bonnie Russ. 

A huge fan of sports, Ellis was the scorekeeper for the Boyertown baseball team for many years. In 1994 he was entered into the American Legion Sports Hall of Fame.

The Boyertown American Legion flagpole was dedicated to Ellis in honor of his service in the military, his dedication to veterans and for his commitment to the American Legion Post 471.

The sign on the flagpole reads: “Robert Ellis - This flagpole is dedicated for his endless devotion to the country and its veterans for over 70 years. He is indeed a great comrade, veteran and friend.”

“It was a great way to honor veterans in our community and it was our honor to honor Bob,” said Malizzi.

Rep. David Maloney presented Ellis with a citation from the House of Representatives in honor his service to the community. Also in attendance were Rep. Tracy Pennycuick and Sen. Bob Mensch.

The Boyertown Alumni Band provided the music for the ceremony performing the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner" while the American Flag and POW/MIA Flag were raised.

The dedication ceremony was followed by a ribbon cutting of the Legion Post’s new deck which was added onto the building during the pandemic.

“Members of the American Legion can actually come outside of the building and enjoy the beautiful scenery down by the creek and enjoy more of Boyertown,” said Malizzi. 

The new 60-foot high commercial grade American flagpole sits in the Legion’s new Honor Garden. Community members can purchase a memorial brick in honor of a veteran that will be used in the military memorial garden.

“The flagpole is the centerpiece of what the memorial garden is going to be. Ultimately, there is going to be a Boyertown bear stationed there,” said Malizzi. “It’s going to represent the veterans of our region and community members can be a part of that.”

To purchase a memorial brick and for more information, go to the Legion website at http://boyertownamericanlegion.com/ or on the Legion Facebook page @boyertownamericanlegion.

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