Carson City native raises state flag in Bosnia

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Stationed in Bosnia, Carson City native Sgt. Larry Cunningham celebrated the new year by raising the flag of his home state at the U.S. Eagle Base in Tuzla.

Captured in a photo taken by Bosnian photographer Amel Emric, Cunningham, 46, held the flag up while another soldier raised it on New Year's Day.

Cunningham's mother, Shirley, 67, was born in Carson City along with her two brothers. "I was born in the little house on Curry Street right behind Heidi's," she said.

Sgt. Cunningham was born in 1955, and joined the U.S. Marines on graduation from Carson High School.

He spent nearly 10 years in the Marines before deciding to switch services and going into the National Guard, Mrs. Cunningham said.

He was stationed with the National Guard in Carson City and then went into the regular Army. He has been in Bosnia since September.

According to an article appearing on Stars and Stripes Web site, soldiers from each U.S. state and territory took turns hoisting their flag up the pole at Minue Park.

Soldiers from different states posed for photographs as they raised their home state's flag.

The flag raising is intended to send a message to former warring factions in Bosnia, who now must work together to stabilize their country, said Maj. Gen. H. Steven Blum, Task Force Eagle's commander. Raising each flag, then saluting the American flag lends credit to America's diversity while appreciating its union, he told Stars and Stripes.

Sgt. Cunningham is the grandson of Oliver F. Pratt, who arrived in Carson City from Eureka in 1921. He and his two sisters, Elaine Cunningham Samuelsen and Coleen Dhu, were born and raised in Carson City. Both sisters, and Mrs. Cunningham's brothers, Oliver F. Cunningham and Gordon Cunningham, still live in the capital.


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