Belleville SAL retire nearly 4,000 US flags

“Let these faded flags of our country be retired and destroyed with respectful and honorable rites and their places be taken by bright new flags of the same size and kind,” American Legion Post 105 Commander Joseph J. Cobianchi said as part of the Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags, Nov. 20  in the parking lot of Post 105 at 621 Washington Avenue in Belleville.

Organized by Post 105 Legionnaires and members of the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Squadron 105, between 3,000 and 4,000 flags were retired in the scripted ceremony. This year, Scouts from Cub Scout Pack 141 and Girl Scouts from Troops 20122 and 20462 were invited to participate as well.

Some of the flags retired were shredded and tattered, coming from homes, public buildings and businesses from around the area. Post 105 has a mailbox outside the building where people may drop their old flags to be destroyed. Over 7,000 flags each year are dropped off at the Post from cemeteries around Belleville to be retired as well, which have been placed on the graves of veterans for Memorial Day.

The ceremony took five hours, with Legionnaires and SAL’s standing guard over the fire until it was completely out, as per the American Legion retirement ceremony. Legionnaire Ed Hall, who is also an SAL honoring his father’s service, spoke about why the ceremony really touched him:

“… Because so many people have fought so hard to give us the freedom we have. These flags represent all of that,” he said

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.