Pilot Mountain News

Flag retirement ceremony is Saturday

Pilot Mountain VFW Post 9436 will host the eleventh annual Veterans Day flag retirement ceremony on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.

The ceremony is held each year on the Saturday proceeding the Veterans Day holiday. The VFW building is located at 142 Veterans Drive, just off Key Street.

According to Post 9436 Commander Dan Hilton, the patriotic ceremony will serve as a demonstration of proper flag retirement using a flag raised, flown and removed from the post flagpole to symbolize all flags being retired. At the ceremony’s conclusion, Post 9436 also offers, as a community service, the retirement by fire of other flags that have flown over local businesses and residences.

“This day serves a twofold purpose,” Hilton noted. “It’s an important service to the community, allowing them to bring in worn or tattered flags for proper disposal according to flag etiquette and the U.S. Flag Code. And it’s a teaching aid for the youth of our community, providing education on how to properly retire a flag by fire as well as teaching them to respect our flag.”

Each year the post collects flags that are worn or tattered from the community to be retired during the ceremony. In the days leading up to the event residents are invited to bring in aged, soiled or tattered flags which are ready to be retired and place them in a blue barrel located in front of the post. Flags also will be accepted for retirement on the morning of the ceremony.

Area Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have been invited to take part in the ceremony as a way of helping to earn merit and achievement badges.

As the ceremony ends, all retired flags will be honored with a three-round volley from seven rifles. The ashes of flags will later be buried at the base of the post flag pole.

At the ceremony’s conclusion, all attendees will be invited inside to join in light refreshments courtesy of the VFW Auxiliary and to meet and talk with local veterans. A collection of military items will also be on display.

“We want to invite everyone to come out and join us for this patriotic ceremony,” Hilton said, emphasizing it is free and open to the public.

Members of a VFW Honor Guard stand at attention as taps is played during a past flag retirement ceremony at Pilot Mountain VFW Post 9436.
https://www.pilotmountainnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/web1_VFW-flag-retire.jpgMembers of a VFW Honor Guard stand at attention as taps is played during a past flag retirement ceremony at Pilot Mountain VFW Post 9436. File photo

By Dean Palmer

Special to the News