American Legion Post 39, led by Post Commander Brian Ross, held its first unusable flag ceremony in memory of the lives lost on September 11.
At 4 p.m. on Saturday, the Post withdrew 20 American flags to honor the 20 years since the September 11 attacks.
“It commemorates the worst terrorist attack on American soil,” Ross said. “This is how we do it. “
People donated the flags to Post 39 through their Flag Retirement Boxes located across from Joe Snuffy and Ross’ house.
“We’re building an even better (box) that will be placed somewhere in Abilene,” said Ross.
Ross and other members of the American Legion will also assist locations with unusable flags.
“If we walk past a place and we see an unusable flag, we’ll go over there and ask them, ‘Hey, can we take that flag?’ and often we will replace it, ”said Ross.
“We have done this with several places, including retirement homes, businesses or veterans’ homes.
Ross broke the correction process to remove unusable flags and the rules set by the American Legion for these rites.
“First of all, it’s inspected,” Ross said.
“It’s possible because it’s torn, has holes, or just faded. He’s spent his time and he’s proudly waved in the wind for as long as he is. Once inspected, we dip them in kerosene, so that they burn quickly, and hang them over a pole to burn them. They are no longer the flag of our nation. They are now officially retired.
According to the American Legion website, the approved method of removing an American flag is to burn the flag after it has been inspected by three people.
During the ceremony, Ross was assisted by other members of Station 39, including Warrant Officer Megan Armstrong, 1st Vice Christopher Armstrong, Chaplain Robert Glover and Auxiliary Bugle Abigale Armstrong.
In accordance with the rules of ceremony of the American Legion, Commander Ross made this statement before the chaplain’s prayers which he wished to share with the readers.
“May these faded flags of our country be removed and destroyed with respectful and honorable rites and their places be taken by new shining flags of the same size and kind.”
Commander Ross spent 22 years serving in the Army and joined Post 39 after attending Symphony at Eisenhower Park.
Ross, who dedicated his life to the flag, wanted to remind people of the meaning behind the fabric.
“When you go back to when the Star Spangled Banner was written, this is what Francis Scott Key watched all night. Every time the flag almost fell they would put it back in place … The flag is always in front and what everyone rallied to during the battle. They were very, very proud of the importance of this country, making our history, our nation, and the flag represents that to us.