Knights of Columbus Hold Flag Retirement Ceremony
Boy and girl scouts were among those present during the patriotic flag disposal ceremony
Hundreds of American flags too worn to be displayed any longer were retired during a Knights of Columbus ceremony held this weekend in Lakehurst.
About 400 American flags were properly disposed of by the council, No. 12940 of St. John’s Church in Lakehurst, at a Sunday event attended by boy and girl scout troops, local volunteer organizations and the borough's mayor.
“The flags came from all over the community and are dropped off at St. John’s Church for us to retire and burn in the ceremony," said Peter Reuter, the council's Grand Knight.
Before the ceremony, a fire could be seen burning in the distance as patriotic songs softly played.
“During the ceremony they are going to cut the flag. Each stripe represents the original 13 colonies,” said Lakehurst Mayor Harry Robbins, whose father was a Fourth Degree Knight before his passing. "The Knights of Columbus do hold a special place in my heart."
Scouts carefully cut the American flag stripe by stripe. With each cut a patriotic statement was made such as “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or press,” and “the white stands for purity.”
Then the stripes, followed by the blue field of stars, were burned to ashes on the fire pit as the crowd watched in silence.
Respect was paid to the flag by with a reading of ”I am The Flag," a poem describing the history and symbolism of the American flag by Ruth Apperson Rous. The Pledge of Allegiance and “I am Old Glory" also were recited.
In attendance "to show their support" were seven boy scout troops and three girl scout troops, and the fire departments and first aid squads from Lakehurst and Ridgeway, according to Reuter.
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization that is involved in helping the community.
“Last year we gave 24 coats to Kevin’s Kids — this year we will be donating 100 coats," Reuter said. "We help out with fundraising for the Special Olympics and we donated $1,600 last year."
Other events that the Knights of Columbus have been involved with are the Fourth of July Car Show and fireworks in Lakehurst, various fundraising raffles, and "Pride in our Priest" dinners.