Five local Veterans on the eve of Saturday, joined a local Boy Scout Troop 2014 who were accompanied by the Daughters of the American Revolution in the retiring of flags in McCready Manor, Kentucky. The veterans and the scouts who attended with their families had a reflective and somber mood.
The troop’s committee chair, Mr. Duane Norris, said that those flags were being retired with much honor and that they had fulfilled their designated purpose and duty.
For flags that are already worn out and only retirement is the only need, first, it is required to cut the blue onion and separate it from the stripes. It is then that each stripe is cut and separated from other stripes. A bon of fire is lit, the stripes are placed in the fire, piece by piece, and it is then that the blue union is released to the flames too.
After the flag was lowered, the acting senior patrol leader, Tylan King, 15, carefully and systematically cut separately each stripe. It was then the responsibility of the scouts to lay the stripes on the fire. Black smoke rose from the pit of fire as a result of the burning stripes and the onion. The smell of the burning nylon from the stripes was immediately replaced with the wood burning smell inserted into the fire.
The veterans were also residents of McCready Manor. They were also the honored guest of the event. Each of them was awarded the union, which had its stars intact. This symbolized that under any circumstance, like a promise, the state’s union should not be broken. With a salute, the brave men solemnly gave their offering of their flag stripes to the fire. The flags grommet, symbolizing honor was given to each of the veterans.
Paul Flynn, the Somerset native, had served in the country’s Navy as a destroyer in the Korean War as a gunner’s mate. He struggled in his battleship and slide but did not fall. When he got back to his feet, he responded to his call back to war.
He addressed the scouts referring to himself when he was young. He told them when he was their age, every man around the age was good enough to enlist and head to war. He thanked the appreciated and thanked the scouts for their coming that day.
In the midst of the Veterans was Keith Reynolds, who is a marine from Hazard and served during the last documented battle, World War II, in Japan. The battle is considered as one of the bloodiest wars in the pacific. He had been in the war during the second wave since the first day of the invasion, 1st April, 1945.
Keith told them the experience he went through during his digging of his first foxhole. He explained that he was determined despite the unending rains that night that kept filling the foxhole every time he was digging.
Bob Hughes, who joined the Navy in 1945 when he was seventeen years of age, followed by saying that he had to get his dad to sign him to join the Navy. Nodding, Flynn seconded him, saying he too did the same.
Stanley Postlethwaitss who was a trainee of the Army Forces Training Command as a bombardier during the Japan World War II also gave a speech to the scouts. He said his unit was almost to leave as prepared veterans on a B-24 bomber to Japan in 1945.
Terry Corder told them that the first time he participated in a ceremony like what the scouts were having was a very emotional event to him.
He served as a Major from 1988-2012 in the National Guard, during the operations Iraqi Freedom and he endured. Nathan Corder, who is his son, told the scouts too, that the flag was and is still a very important symbol of a home.
He expressed how much of importance it meant to him and that they raised and lowered the county’s flag on a daily basis in their house because his dad served in the Iraqi Freedom for two years.
Scoutmaster Phil Blankenship was not left behind, he ended by saying that the ceremony was by far really special he has ever been in.
The Richmond-based troop has had 49 members aging a range from 11 to 17 years from 2014 when it began.