Marines raise 50 flags;;Tribute to veterans of all services;
By SSgt. Bryce Piper
| | November 11, 2003
6TH MARINE CORPS DISTRICT, Parris Island, S.C. --
More than one hundred U.S. Marines and several members of the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army raised 50 American flags in tribute to U.S. veterans of all services Nov. 11. The ceremony marking Veterans Day began at 7:30 a.m. at the Montgomery Campus of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.
"We were proud to participate," said Capt Earl H. Patterson, executive officer of Recruiting Station Montgomery. "It's appropriate that we, as Marines, recognize the service and sacrifice of all servicemembers on Veterans Day," he said.
The brief ceremony took place at the Avenue of Flags in front of the medical center. Area Marines including Col. (Ret) Wesley Fox, Medal of Honor recipient, attended. The ceremony included the reading of an excerpt from A Veteran Died Today, the flag raising, singing of God Bless America, announcement of the name of the latest American casualty in Iraq, and the playing of Taps by bugler Amanda Hall, Prattville High School student and daughter of Marine Chief Warrant Officer 4 Karla Hall. The most recent casualty in Iraq read was Army Pvt. Kurt R. Frosheiser, 22, of DesMoines, IA, who died Nov. 8 in Baghdad.
The event was originated and coordinated by Townsend Chapter Marine Corps League members. Commandant Jim Mahoney leads the Townsend Chapter and is the first Navy Corpsman elected to the position by Marines. Spearheading the flag-raising event were WWII veteran (Cpl.) Bill Burleson and Vietnam veteran (Lt. Col. Ret.) Bob Johnson.
Burleson served in such notable Island Hopping Campaign battles as Iwo Jima, Saipan, and Tinian among others and now lives with his wife, Barbara, in Montgomery. Johnson valiantly earned The Purple Heart during his service to Corps and Country and now lives with his wife, Cleta, in Prattville.
Students and veteran, retired, active and reserve U.S. Marines participated in the flag raising, including members of the Marine Corps League, Marines from the Air War College and others serving at Maxwell AFB, recruiters and recruiting support Marines, members of Lima Co, 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines with Inspector & Instructor Staff Montgomery, and students of the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) at Jefferson Davis High School.