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    Pearl Harbor Medal of Honor recipient to get hometown burial after 80 years


    When Don Colizzi learned about Francis Flaherty, a Medal of Honor recipient from his town of Charlotte, he organized a fundraising drive in 2000 that raised $20,000 in six weeks to erect a memorial later that year outside the historic Eaton County Courthouse in Charlotte. 

    Flaherty earned America’s highest honor for military valor in action on Dec. 7, 1941, while serving as a Navy ensign aboard the USS Oklahoma during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

    On Saturday, Flaherty will be laid to rest between the graves of his parents at Charlotte’s Maple Hill Cemetery, nearly eight decades after his death. Colizzi will provide the eulogy. 

    “He was on the USS Oklahoma, and the ship got hit seven or eight times by torpedoes,” Colizzi said. “As it was flipping over, he held a flashlight and shined it on the corridor exit while he was knee-deep in water, and pushed a lot of guys toward the exit.”

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