Fallen Marines Honored; Families Get Special Flag
Posted at: 11/18/2012 12:00 AM
| Updated at: 11/18/2012 10:40 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
Two Duluth veterans, who were killed while in the line of duty, were honored with flags Sunday that were given to their families. The Honor and Remember campaign passed out the flags that recognize their sacrifice.
"They're number one worry is that they're going to be forgotten," Minnesota Chapter Director Mike LaBelle said. "This flag is telling them 'no'."
It's a national organization that started up in the last several years. LaBelle said 125 flags have been passed out to Minnesota families, and he hopes in the near future this flag will be nationally recognized.
"(My goal is) that it will be flying everywhere you see a POW," La Belle said. "It will be flying right underneath it. That's our goal."
The event at the Duluth Depot downtown honored two marines; Gerald Caldwell who was killed in the Korean War and Michael McKeever who died in Vietnam. Caldwell's sister, Pat Breiland, said her brother's body never made it home, making moving on difficult.
"You just never forget," Breiland said. "There's no closure to it. I think maybe I'd feel different if we had a body, or we had gotten dog tags, or something, but we got nothing."
While Breiland will not have a body to bury, she said the flag will provide comfort.
"I think he deserves something," Breiland said. "It's a nice keepsake, very nice."
McKeever's family was also at the event. He was killed during his second tour in Vietnam. McKeever's mother, Laveryn, said the ceremony was memorable.
"I was so very humbled," Laveryn said. "I thought it was such a beautiful day. A lot of people have said to me that I keep a stiff upper lip, but there isn't a day that goes by that something doesn't remind me of him."
This is the first flag with an officially recognized symbol that honors members of the military who lost their lives in the service.