Flag retirement on Flag Day planned

The largest flag retirment ceremony in Minnesota will take place on Flag day at Veteran’s Park in Ramsey.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will include speeches by a retired Black Hawk Pilot and a Hmong soldier who worked for the CIA during the Vietnam War.

Steve Shoemaker
Steve Shoemaker

The program starts at 1 p.m. at the Veteran’s Park, located at 8702 181st Ave. N.W., Ramsey. People who have unserviceable flags are asked to bring them to be ceremoniously retired.

Steve Shoemaker will talk about his experiences in the service, including 10.5 years as a military police officer for the U.S. Army and tours as a Cavalry Scout Pilot in the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, TX;  and as a Command & Control Pilot in the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY.

The local pilot also served with the Minnesota Army National Guard.  In doing that, he assisted in several of the flood fights in the Red River Valley and responded to the 35W Bridge collapse. He was also deployed to Balad, Iraq in 2008-09 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he completed over 100 combat flight hours.  In 29 years as an aviator, he flew the OH-58 Scout, UH-1 Huey’s, and the UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopters.

One of Steve Shoemaker's most memorable assignments came with the collapse of the I-35W bridge.
One of Steve Shoemaker’s most memorable assignments came with the collapse of the I-35W bridge.

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