Americans showed their patriotism in many ways after the Sept. 11 attacks. One of the most popular was by displaying the American flag - the most easily recognized symbol of American freedom - on everything from homes and vehicles to apparel and mailboxes.
However, flags are not made to last forever, especially those displayed in outside. They wear out and become tattered after being exposed to the elements for too long.
But, Americans shouldn't just ball up a worn flag and throw it in the garbage.
"It is a symbol of our country, you have to do it (dispose of the flag) right," said Bob Simmons, a color guard captain at American Legion Post 63, Milledge Road.
According to Simmons, there are only two ways to properly dispose of an unserviceable flag - bury it or burn it.
Post 63 and the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Evans are offering people the chance to dispose of flags properly by holding a Retirement of the Flags ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the store's parking lot.
"We wanted to do something for the veterans and the community to educate the community on the retirement of flags. We just wanted to do something for both sides of it," said Patricia Shaw, community involvement coordinator for the Evans store.
Veterans are invited to attend and sit in a special section. A Boy Scout troop, a ROTC unit and a group from Fort Gordon will show the proper way to present the red-white and blue.
The flags wo;; be disposed of according to the American Legion's ceremony for the Disposal of Unservicaeble Flags. It stipulates that flags be inspected by unit officers before being soaked in kerosene and placed on a rack over a low fire.
"It is quite a site," Simmons said.
The public is invited to bring unserviceable flags for disposal. Seven members of the post's color guard will be disposing of about 100 flags during the ceremony.
Cake and punch will be served after the ceremony for the veterans.
"Just pray for no rain," Shaw said.
For more information about the ceremony, call Simmons at (706) 733-5842.
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