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Honor Guards perform first flag retirement on National Flag Day

  • Published
  • By Kristin Stewart

Eglin and Hurlburt Field Honor Guards performed their first flag retirement ceremony with American Legion Post 235 from Fort Walton Beach on June 14, 2017.

To honor National Flag Day, the Honor Guards paid proper respect to unserviceable flags. Torn and tattered flags no longer suitable to represent the nation are retired in a dignified manner, during a traditional burning.

In 1937, the American Legion adopted this annual observance to enhance respect for the flag and provide a much-needed service to those who have flags that need to be retired.

“Traditions are important and this was one tradition that our team was not familiar with,” said Master Sgt. Anik Emery, 96th Force Support Squadron Honor Guard superintendent. “It is a nice way to educate our Airmen and support our community.”

Between the American Legion, Eglin and Hurlburt Field more than 250 unserviceable flags were collected. One flag is dedicated to the dignified retirement of all worn flags during the ceremony.

“Our team did a magnificent job putting this ceremony together, working with the American Legion and growing community partnerships,” said Emery.

Senior Airman Anthony Padilla, 96th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, led the joint effort to develop a combined script. In one day, the Honor Guard learned the positions and cues for the ceremony.

“I couldn't be more proud of the performance by Hurlburt Field Honor Guard, the American Legion and the Eglin Honor Guard, as well,” said Padilla. “Everyone that took part did a fantastic job showing enormous respect to the symbol of our country.”

Eglin’s Honor Guard plans to support more flag retirement ceremonies in the future.

“This ceremony solidified my confidence that we all work well together and can always grow together,” said Padilla.