VFW holding flag retirement, open house

By Dean Palmer - Special to the News

Pilot Mountain VFW Post 9436 will host the tenth annual Veterans Day flag retirement ceremony on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m., followed by an open house at the post.

The VFW building is located at 142 Veterans Drive, just off Key Street.

According to Post 9436 Commander Harlan Hawks, the patriotic ceremony will serve as a demonstration of proper flag retirement using the post flag. VFW officers will lead those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a 3-round volley and the playing of Taps before the flag is removed and retired, symbolizing respect shown for all flags being retired by fire.

At the ceremony’s conclusion, Post 9436 also offers as a community service the retirement by fire of any other flags in need of retirement after having been flown over local businesses or residences.

A blue barrel has been placed outside the post in which flags may be dropped off at any time before Saturday morning. Flags also will be accepted for retirement on Saturday before the ceremony.

According to Hawks, the day serves multiple purposes for the post.

“For us this is a community service, offering to properly retire flags that have been flown in our community,” he said.

”It’s also about education,” he continued. “We do this to show respect for the flag as well as patriotism and service by demonstrating the proper way to retire a flag by fire. This is a good event for the entire family, especially the children. And we invite all Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to come out and join us.”

The morning also serves as an open house for the post. After the ceremony, those attending will be invited to come inside the post building, meet members of VFW Post 9436, and to ask questions.

“It gives us a chance to share what we do and why we’re here,” Hawks noted.

Guests will also be invited to join in light snacks prepared by the VFW Auxiliary and to examine a display of historical military items, including uniforms and an assortment of Vietnam era memorabilia.

“Everyone is invited to join us for this,” Hawks said. “We enjoy being able to meet members of our community and to share this ceremony with them.”

By Dean Palmer

Special to the News

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