Flags returned after Marines carry during missions

It was on Memorial Day a year ago that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey presented a unit of the Marines with flags that had once flown at the World Trade Center.

Today, Colonel Richard Mills returned to ground zero to give back the flags, which had accompanied his Camp Lejeune-based 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit during missions around the world. That includes the recent combat in Iraq.

Mills said that when he originally accepted the flags in honor of those killed in the September eleventh attacks, he made two promises on behalf of the Marines. He said they would carry the flags wherever they went and that they would do so with honor. Mills told a ceremony this morning that both missions were accomplished. Among those participating in the ceremony was Sergeant Charles Rodriguez, whose sister died in the attack.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)