Flags lowered in honor of pilot killed in action

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Flags across the city have been lowered to half-staff in honor of 1st Lt. Mathew “Mat” Fazzari, Walla Walla’s first known soldier to be killed in action during the current wars.

Flags at all city offices will remain at half-staff until after the funeral service for Fazzari by the direction of Mayor Jim Barrow, according to an announcement from the Walla Walla Fire Department.

Fazzari, 25, and his co-pilot and commander, Scott Pace, 33 of Brawley, Calif., were killed last Wednesday in a helicopter crash after their OH-58 Kiowa Warrior was struck by enemy fire in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan. The two were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, N.C.

County officials said Monday they planned to raise the flags back to full staff until a directive to lower them is issued by Gov. Chris Gregoire. The flags had been lowered last week. However, the return to full staff is part of the county’s compliance with flag protocol, according to the announcement.

Upon direction from the governor, the flags at the county courthouse and other county offices will be lowered for the designated period to honor Fazzari, the announcement said.

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