The Rye American Legion Post 128 conducted our spring Unserviceable Flag Ceremony on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at the Rye Dept. of Public Works facility.
Commander Fred de Barros led the ceremony. He was assisted by Finance Office/Adjutant Tim Moynihan and Legionnaire Glen Carpinello. Rye Fire Department Lt John Rodrigues and Firefighters Acevedo, Colasacco and Ramsey paid their respects and kept things safe.
Several hundred flags were retired. 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 ceremony we do a couple times each year. The people of Rye are very respectful of their flag once it reaches it end of life. Our flag disposal mailbox in city hall fills up nearly every month. 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 for 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 city hall near the finance office. Rye citizens can deposit their flags in that mailbox with assurance the Legion Post will retire them responsibly. Some photos below.