Why Are Flags at Half Mast Today, Wisconsin: Honoring Private First Class Clinton P. Koloski. Wisconsin residents may have noticed the flags flying at half-mast today, June 30, 2023. This solemn gesture serves as a tribute to Private First Class Clinton P. Koloski, a brave soldier who lost his life during World War II while conducting a combat patrol near Obermuhlthal, France. After decades of uncertainty, his remains have finally been identified and returned to Wisconsin for burial. Governor Tony Evers, acknowledging the sacrifice made by Private First Class Koloski, signed Executive Order #206 to honor his memory and service. Let us delve into the inspiring story behind this recognition.
Details In Short:
- Date: June 30, 2023
- Time: Throughout the day
- Location: Wisconsin, United States
- Reason: Honoring Private First Class Clinton P. Koloski
- Private First Class Clinton P. Koloski’s hometown: City Point, Wisconsin
- Military Unit: Company A, 36th Engineer Combat Regiment
- Date of Loss: January 14, 1945
- Location of Loss: Obermuhlthal, France
- Initial Burial: Rhône American Cemetery, France
- Discovery of Identification Tags: 2006-2007
- Excavation by Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency: 2016
- Governor’s Executive Order: #206
Honoring the Return of Private First Class Clinton P. Koloski
Private First Class Clinton P. Koloski, a native of City Point, Wisconsin, served in Company A of the 36th Engineer Combat Regiment. On January 14, 1945, he tragically lost his life while conducting a combat patrol near Obermuhlthal, France. At the time, technology limitations prevented the identification of the remains recovered from the area where Private First Class Koloski was lost. Consequently, these remains were interred at the Rhône American Cemetery in France.
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Discovery and Identification
In 2006 and 2007, Private First Class Koloski’s identification tags were found near Obermuhlthal, providing a glimmer of hope for his family and the nation. Finally, in 2016, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency conducted an excavation at the site but found no further remains. However, the unknown remains interred at the Rhône American Cemetery were exhumed and later identified as belonging to Private First Class Clinton P. Koloski. This discovery brought closure to his family and paved the way for his final journey back to Wisconsin.
Governor Evers’ Proclamation
Recognizing the significance of Private First Class Koloski’s sacrifice and the importance of honoring fallen heroes, Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #206. This order instructs that the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin be flown at half-mast on June 30, 2023, to pay tribute to Private First Class Koloski’s service and selflessness. Governor Evers expressed his gratitude for Private First Class Koloski’s dedication to defending the values and freedoms cherished by Wisconsinites, emphasizing the state’s forever indebtedness to his sacrifice.
The Meaning of Flying Flags at Half Mast
The act of flying flags at half-mast holds significant symbolism. It is a visual reminder of the nation’s collective mourning and serves as a gesture of respect and honor for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. By lowering the flags to half-mast, we demonstrate our gratitude and solemnly commemorate the lives lost, acknowledging their immeasurable contributions to our freedom and way of life.
Today, as we observe the flags at half-mast across Wisconsin, we remember and honor the sacrifice of Private First Class Clinton P. Koloski. His unwavering commitment to defending our cherished values and freedoms deserves our utmost respect and gratitude. The identification and return of his remains after decades of uncertainty bring closure to his family and allow the state of Wisconsin to lay him to rest in his home soil. Let us never forget the sacrifices made by heroes like Private First Class Koloski, and may their legacies inspire future generations to uphold the values for which they fought so bravely.