On Flag Day, The Scottish American Military Society conducted a Flag Retirement Ceremony at Fort Independence at Castle Island. It began at 11am sharp on the parade grounds within the fort itself and the public, as always, was not only invited, but welcomed and encouraged to attend and be part of this wonderful patriotic event.
The Flag Retirement Ceremony is held twice a year in South Boston, always at Fort Independence. It happens on Veteran’s Day and on Flag Day. It’s an impressive ceremony that puts on display the proper way to dispose of old, faded, worn or tattered American flags. They are folded and then incinerated in a special outside furnace. It’s all performed in accordance with the US Flag code. This particular ceremony was dedicated to the 16 military chaplains whose names are inscribed on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial ‘The Wall’, in Washington DC. Two of the Chaplains were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor: Lt. Vincent Robert Copadanno and MAJ Charles J. Watters.
The Scottish American Military Society has offered its thanks and appreciation to the staff of the Conservation and Recreation Department (DCR) for their continued support. Also participation in the ceremony was of course the Castle Island Association. CIA President Bill Spain is always on site for these very impressive events and the organization does an excellent job making the preparations. Also, on hand to participate were The Paul J. Saunders American Legion Post, the Thomas Fitzgerald Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, George and Ann Marie Martin of the Taggarts Pipes and Drums, Stuart Paul of the Scots Highland Pipe and Drums and Rolling Thunder MA Chapter 2. Taps was played by Tommy Florentino.
This year there were many young school children in attendance from Braintree and Weymouth and they learned firsthand from Bill Wolfe from the Scottish American Military Society about what the American Flag means to our country and why, when it is time to retire existing banners, it is always done with such respect and in this beautiful ceremony. John Scannell, a WWII Veteran sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem and Sister Florence led the opening prayer. Sandwiches, chips and fruit were served after the ceremony.
If you have never been part of a Flag Retirement Ceremony, you should make it a point to attend the next one to witness and be part of this inspiring experience. For those who have been to or been part of one before, you know how very special these ceremonies are. The Scottish American Military Society hopes as many people as possible will attend and show support as everyone is invited.