Several members of the American Legion Department of Idaho spent their Veterans Day properly disposing of close to 5,000 American flags by holding a ceremony and respectfully burning the flags.
“I would rather spend my Veterans Day honoring those who served and came before me by taking care of the very flag that they fought so hard to defend and that so many of them many died for,” said Matt Wrobel, commander of the American Legion Department of Idaho. “We could all go out to breakfast or lunch or there are thousands of other events going on today, but this is what I feel passionate about.”
During the ceremony, Idaho National Guard’s trumpet player from the 25th Army Band, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Robinett, performed Retreat to lower and retire the first tattered flag at the beginning of the ceremony. He played Taps to honor and respect the flag as it was burned. Robinett then performed To the Colors for a new flag, as it was raised and displayed.
The flags came from all around Idaho and were ready to be respectfully disposed of due to each flag being faded, tattered or torn. In addition, the Idaho State flag can also be respectfully disposed of and burned along side the American flags.
The American Legion Department of Idaho properly disposes of approximately 10,000 flags each year. Idahoans can dispose of their unserviceable flag by dropping it off at their local government or military bases, Girl or Boy Scout locations, American Legion posts or local Veterans of Foreign Wars posts.
Citizens can express their pride in belonging to America by displaying the American flag, however, when that flag becomes tattered it is time to take it down or replace it according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A torn or tattered flag is seen as a dismantled piece of cloth rather than a symbol of American pride.