WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Minutemen will be holding its annual Flag Retirement Ceremony on Saturday, June 24 at 2pm at Minutemen Headquarters, behind the Harnden Tavern (430 Salem Street).
The simple ceremony, which lasts approximately 15 minutes, will consist of the Minutemen properly disposing of American flags it has collected over the past year.
Residents can bring tattered flags to the event, or they can drop off the flags, year-round, in the marked boxes at the Wilmington Town Hall and the Wilmington Post Office.
“We try to educate people, especially the youth, about how to properly take care of the flag… and how to fold the flag,” organizer Frank West told the Selectmen in a brief presentation on Monday night.
West invites the general public, as well as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, various civic organizations, and the Board of Selectmen, to attend.
The flags will be folded and placed, one-by-one, into a fire pit. Each flag is saluted. Volunteers will be at the fire pit to take the flag. The event is designed with safety in mind.
The ceremony was the brainchild of former Minuteman Frank Curly. After 9/11, Curly noted a lot of American flags flying around Wilmington, but – over time – many became worn and tattered. The Minuteman has been running an Annual Flag Retirement Ceremony since 2002.
“We appreciate your intent to really raise awareness among our youth on the proper respect for the flag,” said Selectmen Chair Mike Champoux. “That can’t be echoed often enough. If they learn it young, it’ll be something they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
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