CRESTON –– What once flew with glory representing our nation and freedom now worn and no longer fit to serve as a symbol for out country. Over 300 flags were retired Monday morning.
To honor and properly dispose of American Flags that once served as a reminder of our Countries freedom a retirement ceremony was held at Creston Elementary School.
Over 300 flags were collected in Creston and received a proper retirement with the help of the Rochelle Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3878 and Rochelle American Legion Post 403.
Prior to the ceremony veterans explained to the students to carefully place and not throw the flag into the drum. During a flag retirement ceremony the entire group is lead in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Kindergarten through Eighth grade students at Creston all had the opportunity to walk forward and place a flag into the drum where a small fire burned each flag. Once the student dropped the flag into the drum, they stood for a moment of silence to salute the flag.
This was the third flag retirement ceremony held at Creston Elementary School and the first for superintendent Curt Rheingans. The event is spearheaded by veteran Lyle Headon after his granddaughter saw a tattered flag and wanted to retire it with respect.
“This is the first time I have ever been apart of a flag retirement,” Rheingans told students. “It is pretty special.”
Once the flags were completely burned the veterans shifted through the ashes to collect the rings and will bury the ashes.
“The ceremony is going to make a lifelong lasting impression on these children. I hope that every person has the opportunity to experience a flag retirement,” stated Headon. “It means respect for our flag, our country and a proper disposal for the flag.”
Flags were collected downtown Creston in front of the library and are brought from VFW groups in the area.
Headon continued, “we collected over 300 flags in over a little over a year. We hold the retirement so students can experience a proper flag retirement. It instills a lot in the students.”
“It is very special for our kids to learn flag etiquette,” stated Rheingans. “With everything going on these days it is crucial they learn what the flag means.”