Minneapolis (WCO) – The last survivor of the original rifle division was buried at Fort Snelling to rest on Friday.
Charles Corlath, a Navy veteran in World War II, recently received the Presidential Citizens Award for more than 40 years of service as a member of the Rifle Division.
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Reg Chapman was a WCCO member at Fort Snelling where his life and service to the comrades was honored.
This is how Korlath has started every Friday for 40 years: honoring a companion with a decent burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery as an original member of the Friday Rifle Squad.
But Friday’s honor went to Kurlat, an Army and Fire Service veteran.
Paul’s Fire Department members stood by as family and friends gathered to celebrate Corlat’s life – all with incredible memories of the man, his mission, and his love for country and community.
Charles Corlath grew up on West Seventh Street in Saint Paul and enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 17.
He served on a troop carrier in 1944, during World War II in support of the Pacific Theatre.
After an honorable discharge in 1948, Kurlat returned to his homeland to serve as a member of the Saint Paul Fire Department for 30 years.
We were with him just a month ago when he was awarded the Presidential Citizens Award.
21 shots salute to the man who helped start the Friday Rifle Squad, because he saw so many veterans buried without a proper farewell.
Corlath and his fellow World War II veterans built their lives believing in something bigger than themselves.
On his last Friday, the honor guard had a chance to pay back the man who had devoted his life to honoring his comrades.
One by one, he saluted him … acknowledging that the task was completed, the work well done.
Kurlatt has given the American flag to more than 22,000 families during his 40 years of service in the Guards of the Rifles.
If you include his memorial, Ft. Snelling Honor Rifle Guard was in the service of 83,400 military families.