Local emergency personnel and others joined members of Boy Scout Troop 347 in a special 9/11 flag retirement ceremony Sunday.
The event was hosted by Alan and Lora Webb on the grounds of the Webb House Retirement Center. Residents of the center, local veterans, and others were in attendance.
“The Boys Scouts retire a lot of flags every year and we do several ceremonies but this one is special. Everyone who was old enough to recognize what was going on that day knows the significance of 9/11. For the young Scouts here in the audience I need you to know that the world changed that day for the United States. It was a day that was terrible but a day that showed great courage in many Americans. It has shaped our foreign policy for the last fifteen years in this country. If you get a chance to see a documentary on 9/11 I think you should take that chance because you need to understand the significance of this day. I’m sure it is similar to the way people felt about Pearl Harbor but the difference I think is that everybody in this country was able to see it happen in live time on television that day. The country basically stopped that day and has not been the same since. We’re very proud of the men and women who responded to that emergency and disaster. There is still great sorrow over the loss of life that ensued as the emergency responders who came to that incident perished when the towers fell,” said Scout Master Dr. Will Sherwood, who served as Master of Ceremony.
Jacob Williams, Boy Scout Chaplain’s Aide offered a brief prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Senior Patrol Leader Jonathan Birmingham and then a performance of the National Anthem by Erica Birmingham. The Boy Scout Troop 347 Color Guard presented the Colors.
Scout Master Jen Sherwood recognized local heroes as the Boy Scouts presented them a star cut from the cloth of the American flags to be retired. “As we celebrate 9/11 we cannot help but thank those who lost their lives in the buildings doing their duty to their country and to their local citizens. It is our pleasure at this time to also recognize those people in our own community who do this day in and day out in DeKalb County. We would like to recognize all of our local law enforcement and emergency personnel for the job that they do in our community. This is our opportunity to say thank you and to know that they are doing a tremendous service in DeKalb County,” said Sherwood.
Jen Sherwood and Sherry Bush then led the audience in singing “God Bless America”, “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and “Let There Be Peace on Earth”.
The flag retirement ceremony followed.
“The United States federal law provides that the flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display should be destroyed in a dignified way preferably by burning,” said Dr. Sherwood.