Civitans Host Flag Disposal Ceremony - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/02/02

Civitans Host Flag Disposal Ceremony

Flags may be pieces of cloth, but they can stir people's emotions.

At the Biloxi national cemetery Saturday, the Biloxi Edgewater Civitan Club, hosted a flag retirement ceremony. Veterans, boy scouts, local police and firefighters, and other community members came out to watch as flags were properly burned.

"You have a gathering of mostly people from veterans organizations, here today to participate in this ceremony," veteran and former POW, W. Guy Krebs Jr. said.

"I was born on July 4, 1776. The declaration of independence is my birth certificate. My name is old glory," another member read. "I stand for peace, honor, truth, justice, and freedom."

"Rather than throw it away, put it in the garbage, you need to honor it in some manner, and this is probably the best way to do it," Krebs said.

"There's really no set way on how to do it, as long as it's a dignified ceremony. We do it different ways in this one, we had a scout, bring a flag up to the other two scouts, who unfolded it, and set it on top of the fire," Boy Scout Caleb O'Keefe said.

"The weather is moderate cool, the heat from the flags was reassuring to say the least, very reassuring, made me feel good," Vietnam veteran Frederick Scott said. "

"When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer, I bow to no one."

"Very moving to say the least. It's an honor to be here. I get choked up on this." Scott said.

"I have fought in every battle of every war for more than two hundred years.  I've been a silent witness to all of America's finest hours, still my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips to be used as bandages on the field of battle."

"It's for all of our comrades who have gone on, and we're just paying our respect to them," Scott said.

"On behalf of all who have served this great nation, and this treasured banner we consecrate these flags."

"Thousands of them give their life for it. It's not just a rag, it's something more, it's here," Scott said.

"My name is old glory, long may I wave."

By Nathan Mihelich

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