LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff throughout the state of Michigan on Monday, October 17 to honor the service of Private First-Class Soldier Lowell Smith. The flag lowering will coincide with Smith’s funeral.
“On behalf of the entire state of Michigan, I express my gratitude for Army PFC Lowell Smith for his service and the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” said Governor Whitmer. “PFC Smith’s heroism and selflessness are examples for us all, and we are grateful to finally have him home for an honorable burial. My thoughts are with his loved ones as he is laid to rest.”
Army PFC Lowell Smith was assigned to Company F, 2nd Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division in January 1945. On January 21, 1945 Smith was part of a Browning Automatic Rifle squad during the Battle of Reipertswiller when his company attacked German forces in support of surrounded colleagues. Smith was reported missing following the Battle. However, his remains were not identified among those recovered.
Smith’s remains were identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on June 21, 2022 using DNA analysis. He was returned to Michigan on October 14, 2022 and will be buried in at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan on October 17.
The State of Michigan recognizes the duty, honor and selfless service of Army PFC Lowell Smith by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.
To lower flags to half-staff, flags should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The process is reversed before the flag is lowered for the day.
Flags should be returned to full-staff on Tuesday, October 18.