The march of our comrade is over
McGregor honors Sergeant Dwayne Trone on Memorial Day
by Cynthia Brekke | June 4, 2002
It was a beautiful morning for Memorial Services on Monday, May 27, which were held throughout the area. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Larson-Deneen Post #2747, held theirs in conjunction with the Dale Wayrynen American Legion Post #23. The program began at 10 a.m. in the Dale Wayrynen Memorial Gym at McGregor High School, with Bill Fox as keynote speaker. Fox explained the ceremonial 'Twelve Folds' of the flag, as Harry Ekelund held one end of the flag and Herman Ekelund performed the folds.
The cemetery service was held at Union Woodland Cemetery, Carr Memorial Annex, just south of McGregor on Maddy Street (County Rd. 8). The 11:00 a.m. ceremony was complete with Color Guard, 21-Gun Salute and the traditional playing of taps.
Following the formal ceremony was the burial service for Sergeant Dwayne Trone, a Vietnam Veteran who passed away on February 25, 2002, as a result of Agent Orange disease. Dwayne was a 1965 graduate of McGregor High School and spent 15 years in the U.S. Army. As a civilian, he worked as a welder and machinist before reenlisting, in 1984, for six years, with the U.S. Navy. He received training in the intelligence field and became an intelligence specialist.
The Department of Defense, along with the 101st Airborne Division, the 1st Air Cavalry, and the men he commanded in Vietnam, considered Dwayne Trone to be a war hero. Indeed, he was well decorated. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with 'V' Device, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Dual Palms, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, two Good Conduct Medals, an Air Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with one Silver Star and one Bronze Star, and a Parachutist Badge.
Dwayne was a member of the Larson-Deneen V.F.W. Post #2747 of McGregor and was bar manager for a few years. In laying his cremated remains to rest, Post Chaplain Bill Johnson said: "The march of our comrade is over."
Conducting the service were Post Commander-Elect Darrel Olson, Chaplin Bill Johnson, Junior Vice Commander Pro-tem Jerome Carr, Senior Vice Commander Gib Holmbo, and Officer of the Day, Gordon Manchester.
Dwayne's remains were then presented to his brother, LeRoy Trone, by Phil Reeves. LeRoy placed the urn in the final resting place. V.F.W. members gave the 21-Gun Salute and played taps.
The Flag Folding Ceremony is described by the Uniformed Services as a dramatic and uplifting way to honor the flag. The following information was instituted by the U.S. Air Force and obtained at www.usflag.org/foldflag.html. It states:
The flag folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our country was originally founded. The portion of the flag denoting honor is the canton of blue, containing the stars that represent the states our veterans served in uniform. The canton field of blue dresses from left to right and is inverted when draped as a pall on a casket of a veteran, who has served our country in uniform. In the Armed Forces of the United States, at the ceremony of retreat, the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold, and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation's honored dead. The next morning it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran, departing our ranks, who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature for, as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace, as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother's day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.
The Flag Folding Ceremony is from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
This article first appeared in the June 4, 2002 issue of the Voyageur Press.