VFW retires American flags

Vernon. Vernon VFW post holds annual flag retirement ceremony.

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  • The pit is ignited and the retired flags are honorably disposed of.

  • Cub Scout Troop #183 recited the Pledge of Allegiance at the morning ceremony.

  • Vernon Fire fighters prepare the area around the fire pit.

  • PHOTOS BY JANET REDYKE VFW Commander Jim Davis reads an emotional history of the American flag at the annual flag retirement service.

Vernon VFW Post 8441 held their annual American flag retirement ceremony in conjunction with the June 14 Flag Day holiday on Saturday morning June 15. Post members, town officials, Cub Scout Troop 183, Vernon Fire Department members and Vernon residents turned out for the solemn, touching ceremony on the VFW grounds.

According to Tom Gundlach, a post member and explosives specialist, over 1,000 flags were retired and honorably disposed of on Saturday.

“I attended my first ceremony when I was a fourth-grader at Brighton School in Summit,” Gundlach commented.

On inspection, the large pit used to burn the flags was filled to the brim. Gundlach said there were so many flags the pit could probably be filled twice.

At 11 a.m., Post Commander Jim Davis read an emotional first- person autobiography of the American flag, mentioning how the flag’s birthday is June 14, 1777, also noting the flag’s nickname of Old Glory. Davis read that the flag should be respected in peacetime and wartime. The flag’s colors have a meaningful representation, red for spilled blood during numerous wars, while the color white reflects tears shed. Blue signifies our beautiful blue skies and the stars represent each of our 50 states.

While Taps sounded in the background, flames leaped high as they consumed the retired, well served American flags. Participants later enjoyed an all-American lunch at the Post’s headquarters.

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