Such a large part of our local community is comprised of military families and retirees. However, even for those who may have never served in the armed forces, there is a reverence for the American flag. There is an established protocol for the proper destruction, i.e. ‘retirement’ of tattered old flags. They should never be discarded. The American Legion, Doughboy Memorial Post 138, in University Place is a drop site for flags to ensure their proper disposal.
July 8 Bridgeport Place Retirement and Assisted Living held its quarterly event to honor local first responders from West Pierce Fire and Rescue, and the University Place Police. With it being summertime, a free community BBQ was held to honor their service. Once everyone had been served the American Legion performed the formal and oh so solemn Flag Retirement Ceremony.
Officiating for the American Legion were Commander Mike Batnick, Commander-Elect John Karlinsey, President Melodie Foster, and Adjutant Lew Foster.
The hush that fell over the crowd as the ceremony began united all who were present. So many memories for our senior veterans and their spouses. Others who were in attendance remarked that in all their years they had never witnessed anything like it before and felt it was a moment to be cherished.
Adjutant Lew Foster stated that once we had publicized that the Flag Retirement Ceremony would be held at Bridgeport Place, there was an uptick in the number of flags being turned in at the hall. On the day of the event there were perhaps 100 or more flags of all sizes that had been submitted.
Bridgeport Place is a retirement and assisted living community in University Place and plans are already underway for another Flag Retirement Ceremony in the Summer of 2012. We give thanks for those who serve whether in the armed services or in the local community as ‘first responders.’