The Rye American Legion Post 128 conducted an unserviceable flag ceremony for over 400 flags last Saturday at the Department of Public Works facility in Disbrow Park. Commander Fred de Barros led the ceremony. He was assisted by Finance Office/Adjutant Tim Moynihan and Legionnaire Tom Seaver.
The flags were respectfully disposed of in accordance with American Legion guidelines. From those guidelines, Rye Post 128 Commander de Barros read:
“We have presented here these Flags of our Country which have been inspected and condemned as unserviceable. They have reached their present state in a proper service of tribute, memory, and love.
A Flag may be a flimsy bit of gauze, or a beautiful banner of finest silk. Its intrinsic value may be trifling or great; but its real value is beyond price, for it is a precious symbol of all that we and our comrades have worked for and lived for, and died for a free Nation of free men, true to the faith of the past, devoted to the ideals and practice of Justice, Freedom and Democracy.
Let these faded Flags of our Country be retired and destroyed with respectful and honorable rites and their places be taken by bright new Flags of the same size and kind, and let no grave of our soldier or sailor dead be unhonored and unmarked.
We thank thee for our Country and its Flag, and for the liberty for which it stands.
To clean and purging flame we commit these Flags, worn out in worthy service. As they yield their substance to the fire, may Thy Holy Light spread over us and bring to our hearts renewed devotion to God and Country. Amen.”
Commander de Barros commented, “This is a special service we do once a year. It’s important that we treat the unserviceable flags in a patriotic and respectful manner. We would like to thank the Rye DPW and the Rye Fire Department their assistance in the ceremony.”
For anyone wishing to dispose of an unserviceable flag, the Rye American Legion Post has a specially painted mailbox inside Rye City Hall on the first floor near the finance office. Rye citizens can deposit their flags in that mailbox with assurance the Legion Post will retire them responsibly.