U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Flag flies once again over MarForPac

By Cpl. Ben Eberle | | February 06, 2012

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The national colors fly high above the headquarters building of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, following a flagpole rededication ceremony here, Feb. 6. More than a hundred service members and civilians attended the flag raising and rededication ceremony. The MarForPac Band provided music throughout, to include playing the national anthem as a detail of Marines hoisted the flag. After standing tall for more than 56 years, the old flagpole had started to rust internally and needed to be replaced. The project forced a two-week hiatus of morning and evening colors aboard the base.

The national colors fly high above the headquarters building of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, following a flagpole rededication ceremony here, Feb. 6. More than a hundred service members and civilians attended the flag raising and rededication ceremony. The MarForPac Band provided music throughout, to include playing the national anthem as a detail of Marines hoisted the flag. After standing tall for more than 56 years, the old flagpole had started to rust internally and needed to be replaced. The project forced a two-week hiatus of morning and evening colors aboard the base. (Photo by Chuck Little)


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Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band perform during a flagpole rededication ceremony here, Feb. 6. The band provided music throughout the ceremony, to include playing the national anthem as a detail of Marines hoisted the flag for morning colors. More than a hundred service members and civilians attended the flag raising and rededication ceremony. After standing tall for more than 56 years, the old flagpole had started to rust internally and needed to be replaced. The project forced a two-week hiatus of morning and evening colors aboard the base.

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band perform during a flagpole rededication ceremony here, Feb. 6. The band provided music throughout the ceremony, to include playing the national anthem as a detail of Marines hoisted the flag for morning colors. More than a hundred service members and civilians attended the flag raising and rededication ceremony. After standing tall for more than 56 years, the old flagpole had started to rust internally and needed to be replaced. The project forced a two-week hiatus of morning and evening colors aboard the base. (Photo by Chuck Little)


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From left, Lance Cpl. James W. Louis, Sgt. Luke D. Madsen and Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Fontenot, all with Headquarters and Service Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, stand at attention before raising the national colors during a flagpole rededication ceremony here, Feb. 6. The MarForPac Band provided music throughout the ceremony, to include playing the national anthem as the detail of Marines hoisted the flag for morning colors. More than a hundred service members and civilians attended the flag raising and re-dedication ceremony. After standing tall for more than 56 years, the old flagpole had started to rust internally and needed to be replaced. The project forced a two-week hiatus of morning and evening colors aboard the base.

From left, Lance Cpl. James W. Louis, Sgt. Luke D. Madsen and Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Fontenot, all with Headquarters and Service Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, stand at attention before raising the national colors during a flagpole rededication ceremony here, Feb. 6. The MarForPac Band provided music throughout the ceremony, to include playing the national anthem as the detail of Marines hoisted the flag for morning colors. More than a hundred service members and civilians attended the flag raising and re-dedication ceremony. After standing tall for more than 56 years, the old flagpole had started to rust internally and needed to be replaced. The project forced a two-week hiatus of morning and evening colors aboard the base. (Photo by Chuck Little)


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CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii -- It happens every morning in virtually every time zone at U.S. military installations around the world. The brief ceremony, while undertaken with utmost formality and respect, rarely captures the attention of an entire base.

This time it did.

More than a hundred service members and civilians gathered outside the headquarters building of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, to honor the raising of the national flag and celebrate the rededication of the MarForPac flagpole here, Feb. 6.

“Raising the colors on a daily basis at camps and bases and stations around the world reminds us of the fact that freedom is not free,” said Col. Brent S. Willson, commanding officer of Headquarters and Service Battalion, MarForPac, adding that the flagpole rededication provided a nice setting for a collective moment of reflection.

“It’s nice to be able to take a few minutes, while we’re paying respect, to think about what freedom means to each of us,” he said.

The old flagpole, which was erected more than 56 years ago, had started to rust internally. It was taken down and replaced with a new one, forcing a two-week hiatus of morning and evening colors ceremonies aboard Camp H.M. Smith.

The command made up for the break with fanfare not typical of a flag raising at the base. Along with a sizeable formation of Marines and Sailors, the MarForPac Band performed an array of familiar military musical arrangements. The band also played the national anthem, providing a harmonious backdrop as Marines raised the flag.

“I think they made the ceremony,” said Sgt. Luke D. Madsen, supply administration chief for Headquarters and Service Battalion, MarForPac. “[Having the band play] adds that sense of meaning.”

Madsen also serves as the MarForPac’s color sergeant, and led the small detail of Marines who hoisted the flag during the morning colors ceremony.

"I’ve probably raised the colors 60 or 70 times,” said Madsen, “There are a couple of ceremonies that really hit home with me.”

The flagpole rededication was one of them.

“I’ve had the chance to raise the flag on the (USS Arizona Memorial), and now this one ranks right up there with it,” he added. “Starting a new chapter for MarForPac, and showing that we’re moving forward … I think it matters.”

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