In late 2018, Boy Scout Jesse Ward of Troop 129 approached VFW Post 4090 with an offer to build a fire pit on the post property as his Eagle Scout project. The fire pit would be used for proper flag disposal and retirement.
Post commander Bill Almy submitted the project in detail to the post membership for their approval. The motion passed with unanimous support.
After months of planning, the project started and was completed June 30, 2019.
Eagle Scout Jesse Ward was the project manager from start to finish. He designed, developed, raised the money and enlisted the labor to complete the entire project.
On September 28, at 11:00 am. a dedication ceremony took place at Post 4090.
Jesse welcomed the 50 guests and proceeded to explain the details of the construction of the fire pit. Jesse thanked the volunteers who gave their time to help in the construction. He also thanked Cook Brothers Excavation Co. for their donation of the materials for building up the ground and landscaping that was involved.
At the conclusion of Jesse’s opening speech, both Commander Almy and Jesse proceeded to the pedestal plaque where Jesse was presented with a certificate of achievement from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Jesse then presented a check to the post of additional monies left over from the project to be deposited into the VFW Post Veteran’s Relief Fund.
Commander Almy stated, “This idea proved to be a blessing to our post, our veterans and our community in many ways. First, it offered all of us an opportunity to witness a service that most have never seen. Secondly, it gave us a perfect location for retiring our greatest symbol of freedom, the American flag.”
After the dedication ceremony was finished, Eagle Scout Jesse Ward invited the audience to witness an actual flag retirement ceremony.
Jesse explained, “Today we honor the symbol of our American freedom, the American flag, as we retire her from duty”. He went to explain the history of “old glory” and closed with “look at her with renewed allegiance, honor her, respect her and defend her.”
Commander Almy and Jesse Ward each carried a flag to the fire pit for its final rest. Boy Scouts color guards each took turns carrying a flag to the fire pit for retirement where they came to attention and gave a salute.
When the last flag was retired, the ceremony closed with the playing of Taps.
Commander Almy closed the ceremony with, “The Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Auxiliary and the American Legion are very proud of this project and of the Boy Scouts of America. Thank you for attending today’s ceremony and god bless America.”
Note: American flags that are removed from service or have exhausted their usefulness can be dropped off at post 4090 and placed into the flag collection containers in the lobby entrance. These and other flags will be properly retired at scheduled times throughout the year.
Photos courtesy of VFW Post 4090.