Siloam Springs VFW Post 1674 held its annual US flag decommissioning ceremony on Tuesday, June 13 at Post Headquarters on Lincoln Street.
The decommissioning of the flag includes a ceremony organized by the VFW in which the old and worn flag is gently lowered into a firecracker and burned.
VFW Post Commander Keith Schultz said the VFW retired a total of 255 flags this year, but only retired 25 during the ceremony due to the heat.
Senior Deputy Commander of the VFW, Ken Leach, made a speech and spoke about the flag and the United States.
“It’s a symbol of compassion,” Leach said of the flag.
Leach also said the flag represents freedom and that the United States is a resilient nation.
“We have suffered,” Leach said. “But we have always bounced back.”
At the ceremony, American Legion Post 29 Commander Stuart Reeves and DAV Post 64 Commander Ron Evans shared what the flag means to them, along with VFW’s Patrick Broyles, who recited the poem “Reflections.” talked about what it meant.
After the speakers discussed the meaning of the flag in their lives, VFW members began removing the flag. The general public, especially children, were invited to carry the retirement flag.
Once all flags were removed, participants moved indoors to eat hamburgers and hot dogs. After the ceremony and dinner, VFW members removed the remaining flags.