A flag retirement ceremony was held on Memorial Day at the American Legion Post 72 in Aberdeen. What made this ceremony unique is that it was the Eagle Scout project of Heath Walker from Boy Scout Troop One.
Heath was concerned that the area had no proper place to retire American flags. He decided to raise funds and build a fire pit for the American Legion Post. The ceremony held on Memorial Day was the culmination of that effort.
The event was hosted by Boy Scout Troop One and also participating were Venture Crew 223 and Cub Scout Pack One. Members of the American Legion post also participated.
A flag retirement ceremony is a very solemn event. The flag is carefully cut into pieces and placed in the fire.
The Scout Leader oversees the ceremony and the reads from a handbook.
“I am your Flag. I was born on June 14, 1777. I am more than just a piece of cloth shaped into a colorful design; I am the silent sentinel of freedom for the greatest sovereign nation on earth. I am the inspiration for which America patriots gave their lives and fortunes, I am the emblem of America.
“I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to Vietnam. I have been there though the Civil War, Two World wars, at Gettysburg, Flanders, Korea, the Gulf War, all of them. I was there with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and I here with you now. I have flown through Peace and War. Through strife and Prosperity, and amidst it all, I have always been respected.
“My red stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation. My white stripes, the burning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons in battle. My blue field represents God’s Heaven under which I fly, and my stars, clustered together, unify the fifty states as one for God and Country.
“I am “Old Glory” and I proudly wave on high. Honor me, respect me, and defend me with your lives. Never let our enemies tear me down from my lofty position, lest I never return. Keep alight the fires of patriotism, strive earnestly for the spirit of democracy, and keep me always as a symbol of freedom, liberty, and peace in our country.
“When comes the time when I am old and faded, do not let me fly in disrepair, rather retire me from my duties only to replace me with a new flag so that I may continue to symbolize our country. With this, renew your commitment to what I stand for and pledge your allegiance to me one final time.”