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She stands for all that we are as a people, as a nation. She memorializes those who have fought so proudly for her. We remove our hats and place our hands over our hearts when we honor her. As children we recite every morning our devotion to her. Her colors are tride and true, she is the red, white, and blue. Old Glory, though her colors never run, they do fade. Weather can take its toll on the old girl and when it does, worn flags must be replaced and retired.
Sept. 11, 2012, seemed a fitting occasion to retire the worn and faded flag in service at the Walnut Woods Retirement Community of Boyertown. Residents welcomed locals to share in this very special ceremony.
Gathered around the flagpole, people watched as Boy Scout Troop 305 removed the old flag.
Taking care never to let Old Glory touch the ground, the boys folded her with precision to the sounds of bagpiper Mike Brown playing Amazing Grace. Tears sparkled on the cheeks of the seniors festively dressed. Veterans of all ages held their hats embroidered with the insignias of nearly every branch of the military, over their hearts. There was an overwhelming sense of patriotism that could be felt in the air as the old flag was honored like a fallen soldier and new flag began to rise above the crowd.
The worn flag, along with many others collected throughout the year by the boy scouts will be properly retired at the scout’s turkey dinner this Thanksgiving. The flag will have its red and white stripes taken apart and separated from the stars, then will be ceremonially burned.
Stopping to talk with people in the crowd, many pointed out the importance of handling the flag with care. A flag left out overnight must have a light on it, only all-weather flags should be left out in the rain and a tattered and torn faded flag must never be allowed to remain in service.
It is in our care of the flag, we show our unwavering love for this great land we share, for those who have lost their lives protecting it and the hope we have for better and brighter days. No front yard is complete without the addition of those beautiful stars and stripes but when weather begins to break down the fabric America’s symbol of freedom is printed on, it is our responsibility to make sure Old Glory stays looks her best.
Old flags can be dropped off to the Good Shepard Church in Boyertown for proper disposal. New flags can be purchased at nearly every retail chain store across the nation.