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  • Writer's pictureHunterdon County Commissioners

County Officials Participate in Flag Retirement Ceremony hosted by Hunterdon County Bulldogs Marine Corps League

Updated: Jun 11

County Officials Participate in Flag Retirement Ceremony hosted by Hunterdon County Bulldogs Marine Corps League
Pictured (l-r): Michael Downey, Hunterdon County Marine Corp. League (HCMCL); Chris Soldano, HCMCL; Sheriff Fred Brown; John Huff, Frenchtown-Milford VFW; Rich Booth, Hunterdon County VSO; Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren; Peter Schaible, Frenchtown-Milford VFW; Sonya Sellers, HCMCL; Charles Wian, HCMCL.

Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren, along with Sheriff Fred Brown and Hunterdon County VSO, Rich Booth, attended the most recent flag retirement ceremony, held at the Emergency Services Training Center, in Annandale, on Monday, June 3rd.

The Ceremony of Final Tribute for the American Flag is a reverent acknowledgment of retirement flags that need to be replaced. The Marine Corps League, Detachment # 927 Hunterdon County Bulldog organization, conducts these respectful ceremonies two times a year, usually around Flag Day in June and again in November close to Veteran’s Day, weather permitting.

Commissioner Van Doren shared, “The U.S. Flag Code states that when a flag is damaged, it can no longer serve as symbol of the county and should be retired in a dignified manner. The Bulldogs have been collecting flags and hosting the Final Tribute Ceremony for the past seven years. I want to thank the Bulldogs for the invitation to attend this evening’s ceremony, it is the perfect example of Americans honoring the liberty and freedom our flag represents.”

The Retired Flag Ceremony on Monday evening began with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Sonya Sellers, Flag Committee Chair for the Bulldogs reading of a poem entitled, “My Name Is Old Glory,“ by Howard Schnauber, a WWII Marine and National Guardsman in Korea. Taps was played by Christopher Soldano, and Sr. Vice Commandant, Charles Wian placed the first flag into the embers. In 1937, the American Legion passed a resolution requiring a flag retirement ceremony and since then, it has been an important ritual for veterans, scouts, and other patriotic organizations.

Seven years ago, the Hunterdon County Bulldogs refurbished two United States Postal Service mailboxes that were decommissioned and had them painted and repurposed as flag drop-off boxes to collect the flags for the Retirement Ceremony. Flag drop-off boxes are located at 314 Route 12, Headquarters Library, in Raritan, and 65 Halstead Street, in Clinton, at the North County Branch Library.

Commissioner Van Doren stated in closing, “I would like to thank the Hunterdon County Training Center staff for their assistance with helping to facilitate this service, as well as the Town of Clinton Fire Department.”

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