Ceremony slated to dispose of flags

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Bring them your tired, your torn, your faded bundles.

The American Legion Post No. 20 of Kenai is honoring Flag Day Thursday with its annual Dignified Disposal of Flags ceremony at 6 p.m.

"It is the prime objective of the Legion, to utilize the day to dispose of the flags in a good distinguishable manner," said Bob Harrison, post commander.

"Flag Day is strictly to honor the dead. The flag is the symbol of service men who have passed away going back to the beginning of time, at least for our country," Harrison said. "We do this out of respect for those who have passed away in the service of their country."

Flying a tattered flag doesn't show the proper respect, he said.

"It isn't respectful to show an unpresentable Old Glory on the flag pole. It should be kept current and presentable to the public."

The ceremony, standard procedure throughout the state, allows frayed and ripped flags to be laid to rest with dignity.

"It is important because, pure and simple, it is to show respect for the flag, "Harrison said. "So people don't fold it up and throw it in the Dumpster or trash can."

The commanders and vice commanders of the post are presented the flags by the color guard and rifle team. They, in turn, deem whether the flags are unserviceable.

One symbolic flag is soaked in kerosene and laid on a grate-covered burn barrel. The remaining flags are given to Tim Wisniewski of Peninsula Memorial Chapel, who burns them in the crematorium.

The Legion receives flags from area communities. The city, boroughs, schools and some individuals regularly bring flags to the Kenai post. Flags will be received until 5 p.m. Thursday. The ceremony is open to the public.

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