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AMVETS commemorate Flag Day

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Jun 22, 2021

When an American flag gets weathered and worn, it must be retired in a dignified way. It is the only time when flag burning is a good thing.

On Flag Day, at the AMVETS Post 81 in North Fort Myers, members, their auxiliary and the North Fort Myers Fire & Rescue District combined for a noon ceremony to retire those flags in a dignified manner.

Terry Ann Anderson, new post commander, said after not holding a ceremony last year because of the pandemic, it was important to hold one this year.

“Whenever a flag gets torn or tattered we want to be respectful and retire it properly and replace it with a new flag,” Anderson said.

Anderson said if a flag is really torn up, it’s best to cut it in pieces rather than burn it, since the fabric makes it difficult to burn. However, all these flags were burned.

AMVETS collects flags all year and burns them several times per year. Anderson said she would like to make the Flag Day event an annual one.

Christi Kulwicki, fire department spokesperson, said they wanted to make their presence known in the community and to commemorate the day.

“We’re asked to do this every year, and we’re excited to do this and made sure that there was someone to do this who is a veteran, Assistant Chief Eric Klos,” Kulwicki said. “We’ve collected flags throughout the year from each of our stations.”

The event featured a poem in honor of the flag from AMVETS member John Larson, comments from Klos and a flag folding ceremony with the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, as well as words from Anderson.

The retired flags were then carried to the burning cauldron by AMVETS members, where they were burned respectfully, to be replaced with new flags that will fly for our country.

“Our flag is a constant reminder of all the military that served and fought to ensure our country’s freedom. It remains the pinnacle of American ideals and a beacon for all to never forget the price paid to keep America strong,” Anderson said during the ceremony. “The American flag will always symbolize the highway to the future.”