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Citadel News Service
14 Feb 2012

Flag ceremony to honor military personnel , American freedoms

Retired Navy Rear Admiral Robert E. Besal will give the keynote speech at the 14th annual Massing of the Colors to be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 4, in Summerall Chapel at The Citadel.

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Sponsored by the General Westmoreland/Charleston Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars, the Massing of Colors ceremony is dedicated to the memory of military service members who have given their lives to preserve American liberties. It also honors those who have served, and those who are serving to ensure our continued freedom and to preserve our military heritage.

Sponsored by the General Westmoreland/Charleston Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars, the Massing of Colors ceremony is dedicated to the memory of military service members who have given their lives to preserve American liberties. It also honors those who have served, and those who are serving to ensure our continued freedom and to preserve our military heritage.

Besal is currently senior vice president for Program Development at the Lodestar Group. A 1972 graduate of Auburn University, he also graduated from the National Defense University.

Besal had a distinguished 30-year career as a Naval Aviator, including flag rank assignments as Commander of Operational Test and Evaluation Force and Commander of the Naval Safety Center. Afloat commands included USS America (CVA 66), and USS Savannah (AOR 4). He commanded carrier-based Attack Squadron 15 while embarked in USS John F. Kennedy for Desert Storm/Desert Shield combat operations.

The MOWW is a patriotic nonpartisan organization made up of retired military officers from all branches of service that promotes patriotism, good citizenship, service to country and national security. Established in 1919, the MOWW is comprised of more than 120 U.S. chapters active in youth leadership and patriotic educational programs and in support of ROTC programs.

Guests are asked to arrive and be seated in the chapel by 2:45 p.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Color guards from area ROTC and JROTC units, as well as active military commands, public safety units, retired and former military personnel, civic organizations have been invited to participate.

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