Volunteers, burn the containers needed for the flag removal ceremony

DEAR SUNSHINE: I would really like some help with the next flag removal/burning ceremony at 6:00 p.m. July 21 at Auburn Masonic Hall, 1021 Turner St.

We have over 6,000 flags to properly burn/dispose of. Many of them had been placed on veterans’ markers in area cemeteries. We need volunteers to help us, as well as receptacles such as burn barrels, 50 gallon barrels, etc. Even lending your outdoor fireplace would work.

We welcome Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to come and help, as well as Veterans and their family members, Masons, Moose, Grange members, American Legion members, Rotarians, and more. Anyone willing to lend a hand will be greatly appreciated. There will be a bagpiper to help make the occasion special.

People who want to can even take the flags home and burn them there, as long as they do it right.

Please call me at 576-0376 if you can offer to bring vessels to burn, come to help during the ceremony or bring flags home to burn. This job will be easy with enough hands. —Jerry, Lewiston

ANSWER: Jerry Dewitt works tirelessly to honor area veterans. I hope he gets calls with offers to help him in this endeavor. If you’re considering picking up some of these flags to burn in your home and aren’t sure how to do it, according to the National Flag Foundation, you should first check to see if you need a permit from your municipality. for open burning and that the flag is made of materials that do not emit toxins into the air.

Regular sized and larger flags should be folded into the correct triangle and placed respectfully into the fire which will continue to burn until the flag is completely turned to ash. Those present must stand, salute, take the oath of allegiance and then remain silent and respectful until the flag is completely incinerated. The ashes are then buried. This is the best way to remove an American flag.

As an alternative, the flags can be folded, placed in a box and buried while respecting the flag and operating silently.

Some flag companies will accept retired flags and recycle the material to make new flags.

A non-profit organization in Troy, New York, recycles flags and shares them with veterans in a very unique way. Stars for Our Troops (http://www.starsforourtroops.org/Index.html) only accepts donations of 3 x 5 foot US flags and reuses cantons (stars) before proper disposal.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to the July 12 Sun Spots letter, Mike Burd (bassist for Dave Mallett) is also an amazing photographer who collects vintage cameras. He has a Facebook page. I sent him cameras and old outdated film and he was really happy. – Wendy, no town

ANSWER: Maybe the best way to reach him is to private message him on Facebook, but hopefully Mike or someone who knows him sees this and responds!

This column is for you, our readers. This is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write in the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please add your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, PO Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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