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U.S. Honor Flag Traveling To Rostraver For Paramedic Killed On I-70

ROSTRAVER, Pa. (KDKA) - The U.S. Honor Flag is coming to Rostraver to honor Matthew Smelser, the paramedic who was killed responding to an accident on I-70.

The flag traditionally rests at the head of fallen heroes' caskets. State police say paramedic supervisor Matthew Smelser was on the scene of a crash on I-70 Sunday when an ambulance was hit by another vehicle. Smelser was killed in the accident.

paramedicdead matthew smelser
(Photo Credit: Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services Facebook)

The U.S. Honor Flag got its start when a man named Chris Heisler led the nation's largest convoy of first responders to Ground Zero.

According to the Honor Network's website, he went to leave behind an American flag but was told by the wife of an officer who lost his life in the 9/11 attacks that the spirit of patriotism would be lost and forgotten if he left the flag.

So instead, Heisler kept the American flag, which began flying around the country to honor fallen heroes.

After years of flying, Heisler now drives the flag across America, traveling in his RV with his wife and two dogs.

The flag has traveled over 7 million miles and can be tracked online here.

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