To the editor:
On Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, the Juniata County Veterans Council Color Guard will be marching in the Port Royal and Mifflin-Mifflintown parades (Please listen to WJUN at 92.5 for parade announcements in case of inclement weather).
In the past I have noticed that during these parades hats, caps, etc. are not removed when the lead marching unit color guard parades past with the American Flag. It would be a great "learning lesson" for all teachers to remind their students of the respect and history of the United States of America's Flag.
"Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag:
"During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the armed forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart at the moment the flag passes. The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By "half-staff" is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed ."
It has also been brought to my attention that several American Flags flying in Juniata County are in need of replacement. The Mifflintown American Legion Post 298 on South Main Street in Mifflintown has a red, white and blue (recycled) mailbox used for torn or tattered American flags. These flags will be (or were) properly disposed of with a flag ceremony on May 19th 2012 . Other ceremonies take place around Flag Day and Veterans Day. I have copied the below listed information regarding the American Flag for review.
"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." We recommend that you contact your local VFW chapter and ask them for help properly disposing of your flag. And be sure to consider providing a small donation to them for their assistance. In earlier times, most American flags were made of cotton or wool. But today's flags are often nylon or other petroleum-based materials. Burning them can release hazardous gases, including formaldehydes, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and traces of hydrogen cyanide into the air. In some states, it is even illegal to burn nylon, so adhering to the Flag Code puts you in direct violation of the law. Burning is preferred for cotton and wool flags. Nylon and flags made from other synthetics can be buried.
"Modern flag retirement ceremonies, often held annually on Flag Day, sometimes feature the symbolic burning of a single flag (cotton or wool) and the burial of the others. This is both safe and respectful."
Thank you and may God Bless America and all the United States veterans and active duty personnel.
R. Edward Rozell
U.S. Army veteran