Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

VFW's respectful retiring of flags


Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

The flags are spread out and held before placing them in the fire.

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day to hold a ceremony at the Veterans of Foreign Wars facility on East Street. It was a day to respect officially honor flags to be officially retired.

The official ceremony is structured in a series of steps that must be taken prior to the completion of the procedure. The flags are first fully opened up and then refolded according to military protocol. Prior to setting the flags into a fire, they are once again fully opened up and then gently laid down into the coals.

Along with many veterans, Mayor Alex Garcia and Councilmember John Pallares were present with approximately 50 other observers.

Toni DeRosa | Wasco Tribune

From left, Post Commander Danny Rueda, Field Representative Joseph Lopez behind his daughter, Aubrey Lopez, and veteran Camilo Vasquez.

Boy Scout Troop 950 Scoutmaster Jessie Mello addressed the attendees by explaining why the ceremony was important and read an essay on honoring the flag. He mentioned said that honoring the flag has gone through some changes in recent years and expressed his hope that people would go back to respecting and treating the flag like it should be treated by remembering all who served under the flag and gave up their lives for what it represents.

Field Representative Joseph Lopez presented the VFW with a proclamation from Congressman T.J. Cox.

During the ceremony, the Scouts removed a flag from the large bags so they could be refolded into the military triangle. They are then opened up fully and gently laid into the coals for the individual retirement of each flag.

Nearby, volunteers from Walmart were preparing small wooden crosses to place at Wasco Cemetery on Memorial Day, honoring deceased veterans buried there.


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