Local American Legion and VFW members will co-host and open to the public a special American flag retirement ceremony normally closed to the public.
The 30-minute free event will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, behind the American Legion Building, 71 Forester Ave., next to the entrance to Warwick’s Veterans Memorial Park.
Veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Viet Nam era and more resent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will participate in the Sept. 8 event.
Honored during the ceremony will be the respectful retirement of old, faded and frayed U.S. flags, the symbol of American freedom.
“Other than military personnel, few in our community have seen a flag retirement ceremony,” said Stan Martin, commander of Nicholas P. Lesando Jr., American Legion Post 214 in Warwick. “This is a great opportunity for families, scouts and other townspeople to share a learning experience and honor Old Glory.”
Martin will serve as master of ceremonies. He’ll be assisted by legionnaires from Post 214 and members of Warwick Post 4662 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and their commander Jose Morales. Honor guards will be provided by both veterans’ organizations.
Legion chaplain Joe Hilderbrandt’s invocation will include, “We commit these flags, worn out in worthy service, to a clean and purging flame as they yield their substance to the fire.”
After the ceremony, Warwick Valley Rotarians and ShopRite will provide refreshments.