Saturday, Sept. 26, members of VFW Post 3571 and its Auxiliary honorably retired 50 U.S. flags at Fort Uncompahgre. Post commander David Rowland and Auxiliary president Jennifer Wright explained the process of flag retirement to the invited guests -- nearly 60 Scouts, their leaders and their parents. This somber retirement is not a public display, but a dignified and final honor for the symbol of the United States of America. Post 3571 uses its annual flag retirement ceremony to help teach Delta area Scouts the basics of the United States Flag Code, including the final burning and interment of flags that are no longer suitable for service. This retirement procedure has been used by the U.S. military for over 200 years.

After a prayer, recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and demonstration of the proper method of folding a United States flag, the Scouts worked with members of the post and auxiliary, their leaders and their parents to fold all the soiled, faded and badly damaged flags collected throughout the year. The Scouts then assisted the veterans in the final retirement of the colors of their nation. All present had time to reflect on the status and honor due the living symbol of the United States of America as the flags were "laid to rest" accompanied by the playing of "Taps," the traditional end of a military funeral ceremony.

The members of VFW Post 3571 and its Auxiliary wish to thank the Scouts, their parents and leaders for their participation and express their gratitude to Chris Miller, executive director of the Interpretive Association of Western Colorado for allowing the use of Fort Uncompahgre for this hallowed event.

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