Under sunny Alaskan skies, community members gathered last week to honor the flags that have flown proudly over a free land, at the American Legion Post #20 in Kenai. A full color guard and rifle team was on hand including members of the Young Marines, Auxiliary 48, and Junior Auxiliary to carry out a formal retirement ceremony for Old Glory. After an official inspection to deem the flag unserviceable, one symbolic flag was soaked in fuel and ignited over a burn barrel. The remaining flags collected throughout the year were given to Tim Wisniewski of Peninsula Memorial Chapel for burning at the Chapel's crematorium.
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According to Bob Harrison, Commander of American Legion Post #20, Flag Day is to honor the symbol of service men that have passed away in the service of our country. The ceremony, is standard procedure throughout the state, and allows frayed, faded, or tattered flags to be laid to rest with dignity. "It's important to show respect to the symbol that so many of fought and died to preserve. It isn't respectful to fly an un-presentable Old Glory on a flagpole. It should be kept current and presentable to the public," said Harrison.
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