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Remembering fallen soldiers
World War II veteran to speak at 2009 Memorial Day Observance
Flem Cliett
Flem Cliett - photo by Special
    World War II veteran and Metter resident Flem Cliett will speak about his experiences as part of the 503rd Airborne Regimental Combat Team during Monday’s Memorial Day Community Observance at the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro.
    The program begins at 11 a.m. with American Legion Post 90 Commander Charles “Skip” Campbell performing the opening ceremony. Chaplain Charlie Williams will offer a prayer, and Sr. Vice Commander Daniel Foglio will lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance.
    Nick Flott will perform the national anthem, and arts center Director Tim Chapman will welcome visitors.
    Program co-chairman Brent Tharp and Rodney Harville will speak just before a memorial roll call, where family members of fallen veterans are recognized as their loved ones’ names are called.
    Janie Staggs will call names of fallen World War I veterans. Burton Higgins will call names of fallen veterans from World War II — Pacific Theater while Judge William J. Neville will call names of fallen veterans from World War II — European Theater.
    Cliff Holt will call names of fallen Korean War veterans and Joe Bill Brannon will call names of fallen veterans from the Vietnam War.
    Harville will introduce Cliett after the roll call.
    Cliett was with the 503rd Airborne Regimental Combat Team, which recaptured the island of Corregidor from the Japanese in March, 1945.
    A Savannah native, Cliett graduated from Benedictine Military School in 1943. He was drafted into the United States Army and became a paratrooper, spending the next three and a half years in the Pacific Theater fighting Japanese. He was discharged from the Army in 1946 and immediately entered Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala.
    After graduating with an English degree, Cliett traveled to New York, where he met Ann Murray, a registered nurse. The couple married in 1951 and moved to Savannah, where Cliett took a job with Equifax as an insurance investigator. He later worked with Mass Mutual in Savannah and moved to Metter in 1977, working with the same company.
    He and his wife raised eight children. He retired in 1999 and still lives in Metter, where he attends the Holy Family Catholic Church.
    Veterans attending the program Monday will be given tickets for a free meal at Vandy’s in the Statesboro Mall, Foglio said. He will have tickets available after the program.

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