Diplomats are in place, the seal of the United States has been hoisted onto the building — and half a century after it came down in a Cold War chill, the American flag is about to fly again over a U.S. Embassy in Havana.
Secretary of State John Kerry will raise the Stars and Stripes on Friday, cementing the renewal of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. He becomes the first person in his position to visit the communist island since World War II.
The ceremony, set to begin at 9:45 a.m. ET, will be rich with history: Three of the very Marines who lowered the flag at the Embassy in 1961 will be on hand to watch it fly again.
The United States and Cuba announced in December that they would restore diplomatic relations. Plenty of work lies ahead: The two countries are still working on expanding economic ties, including direct flights.