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VFW Post 6337 performs Flag Retirement

                                                                                                                                                               Photo by Elijah Hamilton
Eighty-five students assisted in holding the 20-feet by 40-feet flag aloft as Commander Krewson cut the flag into strips for the proper burning. No part of the flag was allowed to touch the ground during the process.

By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

  Tuesday, Sept. 17, the members of the VFW Post 6337 in Licking performed a respectful Dignified Disposal of Unserviceable Flags with 85 fifth graders in attendance and participating.
  Licking fifth graders, with their teacher Ms. Michelle Meizler and chaperon teachers, walked from the school grounds to the parking lot of the post to hands-on help with this occasion. This service will perhaps be more meaningful to the students, as according to Meizler, “Our studies in class right now are on the American Revolution, the events and the causes. We will be discussing what is happening here today, in class.”
  New this year, arriving by bus, were the fifth graders from Success school with Ms. Brittany Keeton. “This is our first year getting to attend, and I hope not our last. The students are excited about coming and we will be discussing the ceremony on our return,” says Keeton.
  Both teachers were in agreement that this hands-on experience is definitely a learning experience for the students. Learning how the American Flag is to be handled, always with respect, even to the disposal of worn flags is something that they may not be fully aware of until now.
  An unserviceable American flag is any textile flag representing the United States of America that is no longer proper for display due to its condition, including tears, rips, stains, fading, obsolescence (meaning not the current 50 star U.S. national flag) or other damage.
  The flag disposal box in front of Licking City Hall was emptied Monday of the collection gathered by the public. Harry Brevoort and VFW members would like to thank the community for using the flag drop box and noted that, “There were a lot more flags this year than the previous year.” This is in addition to two of the 20-feet x 40-feet flags that are flown at the intersection of Hwy. 63 and Hwy. 32. “There is an additional large flag being disposed of this year,” says Brevoort, “largely in part due to the weather this past year.”
  The students participated in the respectful cutting of the large 34-pound flags, and then delivering them to the burn pit where VFW members were disposing of them. Allowing for the quicker disposal of the numerous flags this year was the addition of the American Legion’s burn pit, a larger, more open receptacle than the two burn barrels used in the past. Brevoort stated, “We burned over 100 flags in 30 minutes this year.”
                                                                                    Photo by Elijah Hamilton
Adyson Dailing and Abbie Young folding the flag 
as Commander Billy Krewson told the students what each fold represented.
  The ceremony was not the only instruction for the day. After the fifth graders helped with the actual flag retirement, they were invited into the VFW Post Hall. Billie Krewson, Post Commander, then explained the history of the flag. This was followed by student helpers and observers learning how to properly fold a flag while Krewson instructed them and told what the folds represented.
  The students also had the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session while drinks and snacks, hosted by the VFW Post Auxiliary and VFW members, were enjoyed.
  This unique yearly occasion for the VFW members, auxiliary, teachers and our community students to participate in the Dignified Disposal of Unserviceable Flags helps instill respect for the flag and what it represents. It also helps instill that same respect for our military personnel and veterans, as well as the auxiliary and how they are the support system. This can only enhance the patriotism that our younger generation feels for our country, the United States and the sacrifices that are and have been made by those that go before them.

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