McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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June 11, 2014

DAV to honor Flag Day

McALESTER — Saturday is Flag Day and the Disabled American Veterans  Chapter 20 post in Krebs is planning a celebration in honor of the Stars and Stripes.

The event, set from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, includes a flag retirement ceremony, with several patriotic speakers and plans to serve free hot dogs with all the trimmings.

Plans call for the flag retirement ceremony to begin at 11, with the lunch to follow around noon, according to organizers of the event.

Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony, patriotic speaking and lunch at the DAV Building at 125 Main St. in Krebs,  organizers said.

DAV Post 20 member Glenn Eller noted that last year’s flag retirement ceremony had been held in November.

“We used to have it on Veterans Day, but now we’re having it on Flag Day itself,” Eller said.

He said the flag retirement ceremony is a way to respectfully dispose of flags.

“It’s a ceremony to do away with an unusable flag, one that’s tattered, torn and outlived its service years,” Eller said.

U.S. Flag Code 1 states “The flag, when it is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Those participating in the flag retirement ceremony at DAV Chapter 20 carry it several steps further. The stripes are cut into strips, with the red stripes symbolizing the lifeblood of the men and women who were ready to die for their country, and the white stripes symbolizing those who protect the nation from the enemy.

The red and white stripes are burned separately, with the field of blue with white stars, representing the 50 states, burned last.

Plans call for DAV Chapter 20 member Alton Smith to serve as master of ceremonies.

Christina Wacker, a community volunteer helping with the event said invitations have been sent to District 17 state Rep. Dr. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester; District 18 state Rep. Donnie Condit, D-McAlester  and District 7 state Sen. Larry Boggs, R-Red Oak.

Krebs and McAlester city officials have also been invited, according to Wacker.

The local DAV chapter is committed to helping veterans, Eller said.

DAV Chapter 20 in Krebs is the fifth largest DAV chapter in the state and has members from all 10 counties in southeastern Oklahoma, he said.

“We have 983 life members,” Eller said. “Last year the chapter service officers helped 1,037 veterans with their claims.”

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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