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Citadel News Service

For Release
Feb. 16, 2005

 Flag ceremony marks its eighth year at The Citadel

           The General Westmoreland Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars and The Citadel will conduct the 8th annual Massing of the Colors ceremony at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 6 in The Citadel's Summerall Chapel.

           Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. James L. Gardner Jr. will deliver the keynote address. Gardner is currently chairman of the Governor's Military Base Advisory Committee and co-chairman of the South Carolina Military Base Task Force. Both organizations aim to protect the state's military bases from closure in 2005.

           Gardner received an Air Force commission through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and entered pilot training in 1951. He has logged more than 7,000 flying hours and his military decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal. A resident of Hanahan, Gardner holds a degree in economics from Middle Tennessee State University. He retired from the Air Force in 1983.

           The Massing of the Colors ceremony pledges faith in the colors of the United States. It begins with a procession of flags some 40 people long. The patriotic service is dedicated to men and women who gave their lives to preserve liberty and honor in the United States and to those who have served and continue to serve to ensure freedom.

           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.

           The Massing of the Colors ceremony at The Citadel is free and open to the public. Guests should be seated inside Summerall Chapel by 2:45 p.m.

 

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