Waves of flames consumed about 400 tattered, torn and faded American flags in a dignified Flag Retirement Ceremony, hosted by Lutz/Land O’ Lakes American Legion Post 108.
Post Commander Randy Holeyfield presided over the June 12 event, which was held on the grounds of Harvester United Methodist Church, at 2432 Collier Parkway, in Land O’ Lakes.
Holeyfield explained the history of the traditional method of disposing of American flags.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James S. “Hammer” Hartsell also offered a few words, to mark the occasion. Hartsell is now executive director of the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs.
The flags were arranged on a multi-tier burn pit. They ranged in size from 2-feet-long to 32-feet long. Post members called the giant flag “Big Bertha.”
Once in their place, the flags were doused with charcoal fluid and ceremoniously set ablaze.
The hundreds of flags — some cloth and some nylon — had been collected from community and other service organizations in Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough counties.
Published June 23, 2021