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Rare flag ceremony planned

Rare flag ceremony planned

By: By JOHN BRANNON Messenger Staff Reporter

By JOHN BRANNON
Messenger Staff Reporter
Obion County will be treated to a rare performance of patriotic pageantry when a new monument is dedicated at the Obion County Courthouse next week.
An 18-man delegation from the Marine Corps League Group in Memphis will participate in the ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday.
The monument honors the 27 Marines and sailors who were awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of heroism and sacrifice during the Battle of Iwo Jima (Feb. 19, 1945-March 26, 1945).
Marine Corps veteran Jim Kern is commandant of the unit based at the Marine Reserve Center on Jackson Avenue in Memphis.
“We’re bringing a full complement up there, including bagpipers and drummers,” Kern said. “We’ll post the colors, do a flag-folding and do a three-volley salute. Most people call it the ‘21-gun salute,’ but it’s really a three-volley salute.
“It’s a very colorful ceremony. We use the same size flag that’s used in a funeral. We fold it and recite the 13 folds and play ‘Taps.’
“Most people don’t know that each fold of the flag has a particular meaning. We recite the folds both as a patriotic gesture and to teach people about the flag.”
And the folded flag will be presented to Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire.
Kern said the league’s members are all former Marines, ages 50 and older. “We have one member, John Winsler, who will be 90 next month. He’ll probably come. He’s a veteran of the Battle of Guadacanal and Pelalui.”
Kern said the league performed flag ceremonies at 91 funerals last year and at 100 already this year.
Published in The Messenger on 10.19.07

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