When done correctly, there is no finer way to say farewell to an American flag than by burning it.
In fact, that’s how Concord’s Public Ceremonies and Celebrations Committee commemorates Veterans Day. And, per the usual, the PCCC is inviting locals to join in this tradition that affords Concordians a way to retire their American flags in a respectful, appropriate manner.
A press release explains the history of the event:
This local ceremony was established in 1965 by James Carroll, Francis McDonald, Bernard Rushe, Thomas Tobeno and Clark McClevin, who felt that the many cemetery flags, which were torn and faded from being left in place through the fall and winter months, honored neither our nation’s colors nor our departed veterans. It was decided that each year, on Veteran’s Day, the worn flags would be collected by the Public Ceremonies and Celebrations Committee and retired in an appropriate manner.
This year’s Flag Retirement Ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. At that time, a small parade will assemble at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery’s Prichard Gate on Bedford Street. They’ll march to the flagpole for a flag raising ceremony and proceed to the place inside the cemetery where worn flags will be retired.
Anyone looking to submit a worn and faded flag for retirement during the ceremony may drop them off at the following locations:
- Concord Town House
- Concord Police Department
- Concord Fire Stations
- Harvey Wheeler Community Center
- Concord's Post Offices
The deadline for dropping off the flags is Nov. 2. Between then and the Veteran’s Day ceremony, local Girl Scouts will prepare the flags for retirement.