Flags to be lowered to honor late senator and war veteran

CHARLESTON, W.Va.–Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered the lowering of State flags the Capitol Complex and at all state-owned Brook County facilities from dawn until dusk on Friday in honor of former Senator John Chernenko.

Tomblin said in a statement that Chernenko lived a life of service.

“John dedicated his life to serving people – as a member of our Armed Forces, as a State Senator, and as a strong advocate for the Brooke County community,” Tomblin said. “Joanne and I extend our deepest thoughts and prayers to his wife, Kathryn, and the Chernenko family during this difficult time.”

Chernenko served his country in World War II as a part of the U.S. Army, and was a part of the D-Day invasion on Omaha Beach. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was captured by German troops. He was a held as a P.O.W. near the North Sea.

In 1961, President JFK appointed Chernenko to serve as the United States Marshal for the Northern District of West Virginia. He was a West Virginia Senator from 1982 to 1994.

At the time of his death, he was awaiting confirmation as a Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French Government.

Chernenko died on Monday at the age of 90.

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