Saturday, August 15, 2015

45 Years ago Marines Removed Ole' Glory from Cuba Embassy- The Flag is now Fyling again

UPDATE: Arizona Senator Jeff Flake accompanied Secretary Kerry for the flag raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. Why this lone Republican accompanied Kerry. Sen Flake issued this  Statement:

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish Date August 14, 2015. Pool photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais.
Secretary of State John Kerry was in Havana, Cuba this morning for the formal flag raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy.  The Colors fly over Cuba again.
It was a few days into January 1961 when three Marines at the U.S. Embassy in Havana were given a sad task: Take down the American flag. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was shutting down the diplomatic compound and pulling Americans out, a response to the downward spiral in U.S. relations with the new government of Fidel Castro.
The noncommissioned officer in charge at the embassy asked for three volunteers — “the biggest, ugliest Marines you can find,” recalled retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Jim Tracy, then a sergeant. He and two others — then-Lance Cpl. Larry C. Morris and then-Cpl. F.W. Mike East — were sent out to part a crowd of about 300 Cubans and take down Old Glory, Tracy said.
“We didn’t have anybody on the sidewalks at all,” Tracy said. “They knew what we were going to do.”
On Friday, the Marines, now in their 70s, returned to Havana alongside Secretary of State John F. Kerry to take part in a ceremony to raise the flag again. It has been more than 54 years since U.S. relations with Cuba were severed, but the embassy has reopened following an agreement reached earlier this year between Havana and Washington.
In a video released by the State Department ahead of the ceremony, the Marine veterans are visibly emotional while describing their memories of Cuba and taking the flag down. They could have removed it quickly and gone back inside, but instead folded it properly outdoors as Cubans watched.
“That was a touching moment,” said East, who later retired as a gunnery sergeant. “To see Old Glory flying for the last time in Cuba, you know, it didn’t seem right. You know, it just seemed like something was wrong, something was missing, you know.”
The Marines were interviewed in The New York Times earlier this week. The Marines Who Took Down the American Flag in Havana. Source

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