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(Publisher’s note: Since I always wonder why flags are being flown at half-staff, I thought readers might like to why, too.)

Flags will be flown at half-staff on Friday, Aug. 3 to honor Marine Sgt. Justin M. Hansen of Traverse City.

Flag at half-staff in Veterans Park

Gov. Rick Snyder ordered U.S. flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff to honor the fallen hero.

Hansen, 26, died July 24 while conducting combat operations in Badghis province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Hansen graduated from Kingsley High School in 2003, joined the Marines in 2005 and attended the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, Calif. He was first stationed at the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Schwab in Okinawa, Japan, and later deployed with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Hansen joined the Special Operations Command in June 2009. He served a tour of duty in Iraq and was serving his second tour in Afghanistan.

Hansen received a Purple Heart, two Combat Action Ribbons and two Good Conduct Medals.

Flags should be returned to full-staff on Saturday, Aug. 4.

As a reminder: when flown at half-staff or half-mast, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.

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