Honoring Old GloryFor the second year in a row, veterans, descendants of patriots and students team up to give Old Glory a proper farewell.
For the second year in a row, veterans, descendants of patriots and students team up to give Old Glory a proper farewell.
“It’s just something nice we can do together,” said David Kringle, past commander of the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post 435.
Members of the American Legion and Lake Superior Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution with help from students in the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Upward Bound Program, will hold a Flag Retirement Ceremony at 6:15 p.m. Monday on the UWS campus. Everyone is invited to attend.
The Daughters’ mission is to promote patriotism and knowledge of what it involves.
“We used to just hold a private ceremony in one of our backyards in the country,” said Mary Houk, regent of the local chapter. Meanwhile, it had been a few years since the American Legion had held a public ceremony.
“They approached us last year, we blended the two ceremonies together, and it worked out very well,” Kringle said.
Houk, a program assistant with the Upward Bound Program, was eager to include the students.
“It really does touch the kids,” she said. Most had never realized there was a proper way to retire used flags. After the flames died at last year’s ceremony, students went up to the veterans to shake their hands and thank them for their service.
“I think it’s really neat because it’s instilling, letting them know the people put there life on the line for them,” Houk said. For days after the event, she said, students would come up and thank her for letting them be part of it.
About 100 flags a year are dropped off at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center for disposal. Only a few of them will be retired with ceremony Monday. The rest will be laid to rest in private, but in the same dignified manner.
“It’s done in tribute, in memory to the flag itself,” Kringle said. The flags are burned, or in the case of polyester flags, melted.
Showing proper respect for a flag means taking it down in bad weather, not flying it in the dark unless it is lit and never letting it touch the ground. Once it becomes faded or tattered, Knight said, it’s time to retire it.
“I think people need to know there is a respectful way (to retire it),” Houk said. She encouraged everyone in the community to attend the ceremony. “The more people that know, the better.”
The Daughters will be handing out Flag Code booklets and bookmarks bearing the Pledge of Allegiance at the ceremony, which will take place at the UWS flagpole along Catlin Avenue. If the grass is too wet, it will take place at the flagpole beside Swenson Hall.
Used flags can be dropped off at no charge at the Bong Center in a large mailbox in the lobby. More information on proper flag etiquette can be found online at www.usflag.org/flagetiquette.html or http://publications.usa.gov/epublications/ourflag/flaglaws1.htm.