North Carolina flags lowered to mark Marine deaths in Hawthorne

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is reversing course and ordering flags lowered statewide in honor of the seven Camp Lejeune Marines who died in a training explosion last month in Nevada.

The Daily News of Jacksonville reported Saturday that McCrory plans to attend a memorial service at Camp Lejeune on Tuesday and has ordered flags lowered that day.

The order reverses an earlier decision by his office to not lower the flags. A statement from McCrory’s office released after the deaths said there was no “precedent for lowering flags for tragic military accidents.”

The training incident occurred on March 18 when a 60 mm mortar tube exploded during a field exercise at Hawthorne Army Depot, 314 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The blast also wounded seven Marines and a sailor.