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Flag retirement ceremony held at Soldiers Park

Last Sunday, starting at 6 p.m. a United States flag retirement ceremony was held at Soldiers Park in Tyrone.
In attendance were members of the Tyrone Elks, the VFW Post 4559 and the American Legion Post 281. Approximately 25 people were there for the event, not counting the spectators who stopped while driving by the park.
Commander of the American Legion Steve Sellers lead the ceremony to present the flags for proper retirement, and during the ceremony a history of the flag was read by Steve Lucas of the Elks.
According to American Legion Auxiliary member Alvesta Boytim, the flag retirement is held once a year after Flag Day. She said the ceremony takes about an hour to complete.
Boytim said it is important for American citizens to know the proper way to retire a flag. If someone owns a flag that needs to be retired, they should not throw it away or roll it up somewhere to discard it.
The proper way to retire the flag is to drop it off at the nearest American Legion, and members will retire the flag the right way during the flag retirement ceremony.
During the ceremony, the history of the flag is read, from when the flag was originated with 13 stars to the present flag of 50 stars. Then, the flag is honorably burned and turned into ashes.
On Sunday, Boytim said over 25 flags were retired this way.
She said it is important for Americans to realize that the flags are destroyed or retired this way, especially since American soldiers are still fighting in Iraq and other places in the world.
She also said it is important for the youth to get involved in events such as the flag retirement ceremony so that they can gain a stronger respect for America.