Friday, August 31, 2012

Full military burial for late President

AUGUST 10, 2012 (Page 70) THE late President J. E. A. Mills, then Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) will be given a full military burial on Friday, August 10, 2012. He passed on at the 37 Military Hospital on July 24, 2012 and has so far received full military compliments. The Mortuary was under 24-hour military guard from the day he died until this morning when he was reclaimed by family members and other government officials. The late President was taken out of the mortuary today around 7:00 a.m., sent to his private home at the Regimanuel Gray Estates on the Spintex Road and returned to the hospital where his hearse was led by a military constabulary to the Castle. A Constabulary is made up of military horse riders who wield flags. On arrival at the State House, Senior Airforce officers removed his casket draped in national flag and sent it to the specially designated place within the Banquet Hall of the State House where his body was laid for officials and the general public to pay their last respects. His body is currently under Catalflaque guard where military Colonels are taking turns to provide protection for his mortal remains until he is interred on Friday. On Friday, August 10, 2012, Brigadier-Generals of the Ghana Armed Forces will perform the role of pall bearers. They will be lined up on either side of the Presidernt’s hearse and move in slow movement to the grave side. A military band is expected to lead the Generals and the hearse while President John Daramani Mahama and his vice, Mr Kwesi Amissah Arthur, family members of the late President, the clergy, government officials and specially invited guests will escort late President to his final resting place. At the grave side, a firing party made up of soldiers will be lined up to offer the late President a gun salute after which prayers will be said, wreaths laid and his body eventually lowered into a grave by an electronic system. As part of the funeral plans, the family of the late President will perform the final rites after which the military will convey the casket to the Independence Square for the burial service. After the service, the casket will be taken through some principal streets of Accra to afford Ghanaians the opportunity to pay their final respects. The Brigadier-Generals will then take over the ceremony. A statement by the Chairman of the Funeral Planning Committee, Mr Kofi Totobi Quakyi said the late President will be buried at a specially designated place in between Castle Drive and Marine Drive in Accra. It said, the place which was located just around the Osu Castle will subsequently be developed into a Presidential Mausoleum. The decision on the designated place for the late President’s burial was taken after thorough consultation with the family and on the recommendation of the Funeral Planning Committee.

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