A U.S. flag belonging to United States Marine Corp Master Sgt. (Retired) Kenny Burrow was unfurled at Trinity Site on Nov. 15 in honor of family members who served in the military.
The flag was presented to Burrow at his retirement from the Marine Corps on March 2001 after serving 26 years from 1975-2001 and has been flown in several places since then.
Burrow said he started flying the flag because he wanted to honor family members by having it flown at historical places instead of sitting in the usual flag box.
Trinity Site is where the world’s first atomic bomb was tested at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time July 16, 1945.
“I am trying to have our special flag flown over areas that have special meaning to our family,” Burrow said. “This is the flag presented to me at my retirement from the Marine Corps. The flag is special because it is the flag that drapes the caskets of family members who served in the military and who are proud to serve under the flag.”
“My family members include current and retired military and we take great pride in our nation’s history. Many of them served in World War II. We have had the flag flow over some specific sites that pertained to some of their service, but we would like to have it also flown over historic places that symbolizes the ending phase of that war.”
The flag recently flew over the Marine Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Burrow said his father, Harvey Kenneth Burrow, was one of the first Army paratroopers. He was in Company C of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment which became Company C of the 551st Parachute Infantry Regiment that was later recognized as the “Lost Battalion” due to the large losses the Battalion took in Europe. Over 840 men jumped into Southern France in August 1944 and on January 5, 1945 the Battalion was down to 105 men. His company also did the parachute drops in the 1941 movie “Parachute Battalion”.
Burrow said his flag flying project evolved over time with the first places printing certificates or letters indicating the dates it flew at locations.
“Later people graciously started taking pictures of it along with the letter or certificate. The pictures have added an element of interest to the flag’s story,” Burrow said.
He said many people have been very gracious providing their time to help.
The Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion, 501 Parachute Infantry Regiment personally jumped with the flag and posted a nice tribute to his father on their Facebook page.
The Golden Knights jumped with the flag and posted the video on Facebook.
Burrow said he wanted the flag flown at Trinity Site because that is where the atomic bomb was tested.
“The atomic bomb was tested there at White Sands, the flag has flown over Tinian, where the first bomb was launched from, and over Japan at Iwakuni, which is about 20 miles from Hiroshima. In addition to flying over the Base at Iwakuni, the flag was also unfurled in the room that was used to plan the attack on Hawaii.”
After he gets the flag back, Burrow said he will probably contact the Rangers at the WWII Memorial in D.C. or the Women in Military Service Memorial and ask them to fly the flag.
Burrow said unfurling the flag at Trinity Site completes a historical line of places: the first bomb was tested at Trinity Site; the airplane carrying the bombs took off from Tinian; and they were dropped on Japan.
The flag has flown in the ten countries: U.S., Germany, Guam, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Mariana Islands, Palau, Philippines, and Solomon Islands.
“Some places in Japan are especially significant to me as a Marine because of the battles fought there: Iwo Jima, Saipan, Peleliu, and Belleau Wood,” Burrow said. “It has flown over 57 places in 15 states in the U.S. As a native Texan I take pride that it has flown over the Alamo, the Texas State Capital, and the Battle Ship Texas. It has flown over the Women's Rights National Historical Park to honor my wife who is retired Navy (she was the first female Navy Seabee Builder) and the Tuskegee Airmen Historical Site. It has flown with the Navy Blue Angels (#3 – Marine Maj. Frank Zastoupil) and has made parachute jumps with the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment and with the Army Golden Knights.”
Some of the places the flag has flown over include:
- Funeral of Harvey K. Burrow (U.S. Army - WWII Paratrooper 551st PIR) 1/4/2004
- United States Capital
- Marine Corps War Memorial
- The Alamo
- 9/11 Memorial
- USS Arizona Memorial
- Antietam National Battlefield
- Gettysburg National Military Park
- Shiloh National Military Park
- Valley Forge National Military Park
- Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
- U.S. Navy Memorial
- Independence Hall
- Ellis Island
- Statue of Liberty Island
- Mount Rushmore
- Tomb of the Unknowns: Arlington National Cemetery
- Manila American Cemetery
- Netherlands American Cemetery
- Normandy American Cemetery
- Sicily-Rome American Cemetery
- Texas State Capitol
- The Pentagon
- Fort Benning
- Iwo Jima
- Battle of the Bulge 75th Anniversary, Belgium
- Belleau Wood American Monument (Aisne-Marne American Cemetery)
- Ludendorff Bridge Tower
- Guadalcanal Memorial
- San Jacinto Monument
- Fort McHenry
- USS Constitution
- BB-35 USS Texas
- BB-60 USS Alabama
- BB-61 USS Iowa
- BB-62 USS New Jersey
- BB-63 USS Missouri
- BB-64 USS Wisconsin
- BB-65 USS North Carolina
- CV-11 USS Intrepid
- CV-12 USS Hornet
- CV-16 USS Lexington