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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

MOH Flag Ceremony at the Navy Memorial

When I was looking at the Navy’s tribute site for our newest Medal of Honor recipient, Michael Monsoor, I noticed that something called the “Medal of Honor Flag Ceremony” was scheduled for tonight in DC at the US Navy War Memorial. Since I knew the Memorial was in the middle of a plaza between two mid-rise office buildings, I guessed that the event was more or less “open to the public”. I wouldn’t have an assigned seat, but I figured I could sit or stand around the edges, places where I’ve stopped before on walks through town.

I guessed right, and I was really pleased to just be present, a citizen saying thanks. Lots of other people had the same idea. At the end I met a woman who’d had no idea it was going on, but stopped for the hour-long ceremony, deciding that she could walk her dog later. I spoke to several others who’d done the same, most of whom were a little teary-eyed after the song that concluded the program.

One day I’ll get a real camera so that my pictures are better, but I did find a pretty good spot to watch and I’m glad I did. And you can see how folks gathered around to watch:

I don’t know if they presented something like the Medal of Honor flag in the past, but apparently it was only officially authorized by Congress in the fall of 2002. Regardless, it’s yet another wonderful tribute and opportunity to remember. In this case, the flag was presented to the mother of the fallen recipient, Sally Monsoor.

The video of the Flag Ceremony last fall for Medal of Honor recipient and fellow Navy Seal, Lt Michael Murphy, is HERE. You might recall my post that mentioned Lt Murphy, who is part of the amazing story captured in Marcus Luttrell’s book, "Lone Survivor", which I wrote about HERE.

As tonight’s ceremony was breaking up, I noticed that one of the sailors staffing the event was carrying a small stack of programs. Since I knew my pictures weren’t going to show you much, I asked for one, and he happily gave me one. Others lingering nearby were quick to relieve him of the rest. Here are a few pictures of the official program. Another fitting tribute, don’t you think?

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