Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Burning the Flag

Jilda and I are asked to play at all kinds of functions. We've played at weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries, and other life events. We played at a Llama Convention once, but this is a story better left for another entry.
Today we were invited by a local veterans group to play at a Flag Retirement Ceremony. It's the honorable way to dispose of a flag that is worn or tattered. I'd never seen the ceremony before, but it was quite moving.
The Veterans Honor Guard was there. One of the members of the Guard is 85 years old. He served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He had more ribbons on his chest than and Easter Parade.
Boy Scout Troop 120 carried out the ceremony which involves cutting away the blue field on which the stars are embroidered, and then cutting each stripe of the flag off one by one.
After the flag is cut into pieces, the boys approach the fire with a strip of Old Glory, drops it on the fire, steps back and salutes.
The ceremony today was held at the local community center at sunset. The crowd was small and respectful. 
It was totally silent as the boy scouts went about their work. At one point I looked up into the sky, and watched airplane glide westward across the sky leaving a golden thread behind. 
When all the pieces of the flag had  burned, the bugler for the Honor Guard played Taps, and my eyes got misty.
I considered it an honor to be a part of this ceremony. 


  1. I didn't know about the procedure for burning a flag. This is a very well-written post, as always.


  2. Must have been a great experience for you..I'm sure I would've loved to be there too!:)

  3. That's interesting. You know, I would have thought an old flag would be buried with the person who owned it.

  4. We do this regularly on Scout trips. It is always a solemn and moving ceremony.

  5. A lovely event and thanks for telling us about it.

  6. Nice post, I still hope that one day I will hear you both play!

  7. Wow- got a lump in my throat. Very moving!

  8. I was not sure what you were talking about. I had to check with my kids. Now I know. I am sure people chose you guys because you are honerable. I am happy for you guys.

  9. I've never seen one of those ceremonies before, and didn't even really know about them. What a great experience to be able to be there.

  10. Taps never fails to bring a lump to my throat.

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