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For Immediate Release

Date: 09/22/11

Rep. Cotta to Salute Honor Guard on Reaching Milestone

AUGUSTA - State Rep. David Cotta will present a Legislative Sentiment to the Maine Army National Guard's Honor Guard in recognition of their 7,000th military funeral honors ceremony. The presentation will take place at 1 p.m. in the Hall of Flags in the State House, on Tuesday, Sept. 27. The Legislature will convene that day in special session.

Governor Paul LePage will speak at the presentation, along with Major General John W. Libby, Adjutant General of the Maine National Guard. Representatives of Maine's congressional delegation also will deliver remarks.

The Honor Guard performed their 7,000th funeral honors ceremony on August 27, in Windham. Maine loses between 3,800 and 4,000 veterans every year. Since the establishment of the program in 2003, the Funeral Honors Program has grown from performing an average of 35 services per month to now performing about 110 services every month, handling nearly 100 percent of the military funerals for Army veterans in Maine.

"It's my privilege to pay tribute to the Honor Guard and the individuals who support it," said Rep. Cotta (R-China), who spent 36 years on active duty and in the Army Reserve as a helicopter pilot. "Anyone who has attended their ceremonies knows that they carry out their duty with the same level of professionalism you'd see at Arlington National Cemetery. It is sad that we are losing so many veterans now, especially from the World War II era, but it means a lot to their families that the Honor Guard pays them this final tribute."

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Contact:
Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445