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Ceremony will honor American Flag

For more than 200 years, the American Flag has been the symbol of our nation’s strength and unity. It has been a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens and the American Flag has been a prominent icon in history of the United States.

In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she had sewn the first American flag. And on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed the First flag act “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

Today the flag consist of the original 13 red and white stripes, seven red and six white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies; the stars represent the 50 states of our United States. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

This flag, as most everyone knows, has been taken into every battle our country has fought to protect our precious freedom we all sometimes take for granted. It is flown with pride at all government buildings, many times at half mast in honor and memory of many individuals that have made a difference in our country and when something tragic happens like the attack on America on Sept. 11, 2001.

This same flag has been dishonored, burned, stepped on and defaced for what it stands for by our enemies, both abroad and unfortunately in our own country. It is flown with pride at many homes by our citizens and most importantly by our Veterans. This American Flag continues to be our symbol of the freedom our fathers intended it to be and continues with the many veterans who have given of themselves and so many their life’s to protect this freedom. No matter how many think they can destroy it, It still remains strong and true to America because of the sacrifices so many have given to keep it flying as the symbol of “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All.”

When our flag is so worn that is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner

At 10 a.m. Saturday, all of the Miss-Lou will get a chance to see how worn and old flags are properly disposed of in our annual Veterans Day Flag retirement Ceremony. This ceremony has occurred the past few years, sponsored by Copiah-Lincoln Community College, the local Boy Scouts of America and our local veterans on the Saturday closest to Veterans Day at the college campus.

This year the ceremony takes on a whole new meaning because it will be in conjunction with the Miss-Lou Patriotic Tribute at the Natchez Convention center, from Nov. 8-11.

Since we could not have a fire on the grounds of the convention center, Veteran Doug McCallister, one of the organizers of this historical event, made arrangements to have materials donated to make a special fire pit for this event and donate it to be used for future events as well. Thanks to the generosity of Teresa Busby, vice president of the local college and the Copiah-Lincoln Community College welding class they agreed to build this fire pit. Everyone is invited to this very dignified ceremony to participate in the proper disposal of our flag as designated by Federal law.

The local Boy Scout troops of the Miss-Lou along with the many Cub Scout packs have the honor of presiding at this ceremony. We will have local veterans attending with an official Honor Guard and local Knights of Columbus 4th Degree and the Knights of Peter Claver also present as Honor Guards. We will have an Eagle Scout in full uniform with white gloves as the properly folded flags are presented to him by our Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and anyone wishing to participate and place the flags in the fire.

Please make plans to attend this very important event and share in the feeling of pride you will get by being here and top it all off by visiting the Memorial Wall, honoring all those who have given their life’s to protect the freedom we enjoy from World War II, Korea, Cold War, the Gulf war, Iraq and Afghanistan including law enforcement and firefighters, a 9/11 tribute and more. It will be on display inside the Convention Center. If you have worn flags and want to have them properly disposed of you can bring them to the ceremony or drop them off to me at Great River Chevrolet GMC. I look forward to this celebration of our freedom and hope to see you there at 10 a.m. Nov. 10.

Thank you, and may God bless America.


Ricky Warren is the scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 168.