ANNANDALE, NJ (Hunterdon County) – The Ceremony of Final Tribute for the American Flag is a reverent acknowledgement of retirement for flags that need to be replaced. The Marine Corps League, Detachment 927 – Hunterdon County Bulldog organization, conducts these respectful ceremonies at various locations throughout the county.
Deputy Director Jeff Kuhl, along with Sheriff Fred Brown attended the most recent ceremony, held at the Emergency Services Training Center, in Annandale, on Monday, Nov. 13.
“It is incredibly moving to witness the solemn Ceremony of Final Tribute, and to understand that retiring a flag, the symbol of freedom and justice, deserves such a respectful retirement, something the Hunterdon County Bulldogs deliver perfectly,” Kuhl said.
In 1937, the American Legion passed a resolution requiring a flag retirement ceremony and since then, it has been an important ritual for veterans, scouts, and other patriotic organizations.
“The Bulldogs have been collecting flags and hosting the Final Tribute Ceremony for the past six years. The U.S. Flag Code states that when a flag is damaged, it can no longer serve as a symbol of the country and should be retired in a dignified way. This ceremony is the perfect example of Americans honoring the liberty and freedom our flag represents. A special thank you to the Town of Clinton Fire Department for attending and standing by in case their services were needed for safety and assistance during the ceremony,” Kuhl said.
Six years ago, the Hunterdon County Bulldogs refurbished two United States Postal Service mailboxes that were decommissioned and had them painted and repurposed as flag drop-off boxes to collect the flags for the Flag Retirement Ceremony.
Flag drop-off boxes are located at 314 Route 12, Headquarters Library, Raritan, and 65 Halstead Street, in Clinton, at the North County Branch Library.