Massing of the Colors ceremony planned March 2
A Congressional Medal of Honor recipient will highlight the 2008 Massing of the Colors ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2, in Summerall Chapel at The Citadel.
The General Westmoreland Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars and The Citadel conducts the annual ceremony that pledges faith in the colors of the United States. It begins with a procession of flags and concludes with patriotic service dedicated to military men and women who serve and have served to preserve liberty and honor in the United States.
The first Massing of the Colors ceremony was conducted in 1922 on Armistice Day at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City. Initiated by the Society of the Massing of the Colors, MOWW took over the direction of the ceremony in 1950.
This year’s guest speaker will be retired Marine Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston who received the Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon in recognition of Livingston’s service in Vietnam. Wounded in a battle at Dai Do, Livingston led his men through a firefight, destroying more than 100 enemy bunkers and coming to the rescue of a stranded Marine company.
During his military career he has served as an instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School, as operations officer for the Vietnam evacuation operations, which included Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon. He commanded the Marine Barracks, United Kingdom, London, and served as commanding officer of the 3rd Recruit Training Battalion and then as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Training at the Marine Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina. Following his promotion in 1988 to brigadier general, he served as deputy director for operations at the National Military Command Center in Washington, D.C. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Livingston commanded the Marine Air Ground Combat Center at 29 Palms, Calif., and developed the Desert Warfare Training Program.
Livingston is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the Air War College. His decorations include the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star Medal, Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, Purple Heart (third award), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (second award), Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, Combat Action Ribbon (second award), and various other service and decorations. He is a qualified military parachutist.
The Massing of the Colors ceremony is free and open to the public. Guests should be seated inside Summerall Chapel by 2:45 p.m.