For Immediate Release - July 03, 2007

Patrick-Murray Administration to Order Lowering of Flags for Commonwealth Soldiers Killed in Action

Fallen Soldiers to be Honored on Day of Burial

BOSTON - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced that he has ordered all state buildings to lower flags to half-staff on the day any Massachusetts solider killed in a war zone is laid to rest. The order was discussed at yesterday's first meeting of the Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans Services and was supported by Council members. The Council is chaired by Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.

As a result of the Governor's order, flags will fly at half-staff on Thursday, July 5th in honor of Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Newsome of Chicopee, MA who was killed in action in Iraq on June 27, 2007.

"We want to acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice that these servicemen and women and their families have made to this country and the Commonwealth," Governor Patrick said.

"We should hold a special place in our thoughts for the brave men and women who have given their lives on behalf of our Nation, and for the families that they leave behind," said Lt. Governor Murray. "It is fitting and appropriate to recognize and salute their sacrifice by lowering the flag to half-staff. In doing so we, as a Commonwealth, express gratitude for their service and solace for the grief and burden that is borne by their families on our behalf."

"This is a fitting tribute from the citizens of the Commonwealth to honor those who have died for their country," said Department of Veterans Services Secretary Thomas Kelley.

The Governor's Advisory Council on Veterans Services reviews and assesses state and federal statutes and programs relating to veterans and the delivery of services to veterans, including health care, education, housing, outreach, training and retraining. The Council also educates the people of the Commonwealth and their elected and appointed officials regarding issues of importance to the Commonwealth's veterans.

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