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Governor Dayton Honors Two Minnesotans With Flags at Half-Staff

June 23, 2011
Two Minnesota heroes returned home decades after giving their lives in service to country
   
In honor and remembrance of Lieutenant Harry Lester Bedard and Sergeant Ralph William Carlson, Governor Mark Dayton has ordered all U.S. flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff at all state and federal buildings in the State of Minnesota, from sunrise until sunset on Saturday, June 25, 2011.    
 
Lieutenant Harry Lester Bedard was killed in action on April 3, 1945, while serving as a Bombardier Navigator in the United States Army Air Force in World War II.  He died a hero at twenty-two years of age, when his plane crashed on the Cebu Islands in the Philippines.  Lieutenant Bedard’s remains were recovered in 1947, and identified by DNA in April, 2010.  He will be honored with a burial of full military honors on Saturday, June 25, 2011. 
 
Sergeant Ralph William Carlson was killed in action on April 30, 1951, while serving as a tank driver in the United States Army during the Korean War.  Sergeant Carlson went Missing in Action on January 4, 1951, when his platoon was cut off and surrounded by enemy forces south of Seoul, Korea.  He died a hero at twenty-two years of age on April 30, 1951, in a Korean Prisoner of War Camp.  His remains were returned to the United States from North Korea sometime between the years of 1990-1994 and identified by DNA in February, 2011.  He will be honored with a burial of full military honors on Saturday, June 25, 2011.
 
At the direction of the Governor, Minnesota flies it’s flags at half-staff following the death of Minnesota military personnel killed in the line of duty, on the day of interment.  Governor Dayton has chosen to extend this same honor to all of Minnesota’s fallen soldiers, including those who are returned to their families long after their service.