U.S. Air Force Airmen enrolled in Airman leadership school raised the flag during reveille this morning, July 24, at the Air National Guard’s Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center in East Tennessee.
Reveille involves raising the flag at the start of the duty day, and retreat involves lowering the flag at the end of the duty day. EPME students conduct both ceremonies and recite the Airman’s Creed, as part of other customs and courtesies.
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If you visited the Air National Guard’s training center here in East Tennessee this week coming from any other U.S. active duty, National Guard or Reserve military installation, there you would find the same American flag, at half-staff.
The President and the governors can order the flag flown half-staff through the U.S. Flag Code in memorialization. This time, flags were raised to their peak, then lowered to halfway in honor of those victims of murder and assault in Las Vegas.
“Our Nation is heartbroken,” proclaimed President Donald Trump, in his notice for the American flag to fly half-staff, Oct. 2 to Oct. 6. Meaning, a week of reflection before the Columbus Day weekend. “As we grieve, we pray that God may provide comfort and relief to all those suffering.”
These past years, I’d instead not recall how often I’ve walked across the base in the morning to see “Old Glory” flying below its peak to honor Americans under tragic events. It’s too often.
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Faculty and staff assigned to the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee formed ranks during a retreat ceremony with others at the Class 17-4 NCO Academy graduation May 16, 2017.
Military retreat ceremonies pay respect to the Flag when it is lowered at the end of a duty day and can include group formation, bugle call, salute and flag folding, among other traditions. TEC service members recite the Airman’s Creed at the end of their flag ceremonies.
TEC includes the Air Force’s largest enlisted professional military education center, which educates thousands of active duty, National Guard, Reserve Command and international students every year.