Marines raise flag in Cuba for first time in 54 years

Posted: 16-Aug-15 10:48

The three Marines who took down the American flag at the US Embassy in Cuba 54 years ago are still alive and well - and they recently attended a ceremony marking the historic re-opening of the US Embassy.

Marines raise flag in Cuba for first time in 54 years

The raising of the US flag at the American Embassy in Cuba is the final ceremonial symbol of the revival of the relationship between these two nations. On August 14, the US Secretary of State gave a passionate and meaningful speech at the flag-raising ceremony, thanking President Barak Obama and Fidel Castro for their courage to renew ties.

The three Marines who took down the American flag at the embassy in 1961 were in Havana for the ceremony, watching three younger Marines raise the flag there for the first time in more than five decades. The three older retired Marines handed a new flag to the younger Marines, who then carried out the formal flag-raising ceremony. Everyone saluted the flag to a drumroll, followed by a performance of the National Anthem. The older Marines, who are now in their 70s and 80s, never thought that they would see the flag come back up again in Cuba. Mike East, retired Gunnery Seargeant, described watching the flag rise as a "joy in my heart" and stated that it was a part of history.

Older Marines

Just last month, the Cuban flag was raised at the US Washington embassy and the Cuban Embassy opened in the US, and vice versa.

One of the main remarks in John Kerry's speech was about commencing business ties in a positive and productive way with the island nation by collaborating with young Cuban entrepreneurs on affairs such as travel and telecommunications. He added that he is in support of things going further and the Cuban government allowing citizens to engage in business with the US and accessing information online.

USA embassy in Havana

He also thanked the people who worked hard to help these diplomatic relations bloom. His speech also offered thanks to the people of Cuba and the Cuban-American population of the USA. He stated that it was time to bury the hatchet and leave behind the past, replacing anger with the hope of a productive future.

No one knows what the future holds for US and Cuba relations, but good things are expected to come with the possibility of collaboration and cooperation inspiring.


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