A beautiful sunny day in the Little Arlington section in Woodlawn Garden of Memories Cemetery provided the moving backdrop for a Flag Retirement Ceremony on Saturday, June 19, 2021. Lady Washington Chapter members partnered with BSA Troop 1665 from St. Edward’s Parish in Spring, Texas. In addition, San Jacinto Society Children of the American Revolution, friends and family, chapter members and DAR members from three other area chapters participated in the spectacular event. In total there were 40 people in attendance
Honorary Regent Anthony Startz coordinated the ceremony as her Capstone project for the New Horizons Course. Her objectives included: hosting a flag retirement ceremony, creating a flag retirement ceremony program script, to be shared with others, involve multiple groups participating in the ceremony, and provide a MTA that was open to other DAR members in need of a local MTA for their Members or New Horizons Course.
The Scouts were instructed by their Chartered Organization Representative George Gregory and Scout Master Miguel Salazar. The opening ceremony began with the presentation of the colors to be retired by members of the Scout troop, John David Yarborough along with Jeshua and Noah Torres. These scouts turned the flag over to James Broussard, George Gregory IV, and Davis Salazar who performed the cutting of the flag.
Our opening prayer was led by chapter Parliamentarian Linda Taylor followed by the Pledge to the Flag of the United States of America led by chapter member US Army Lt. Col Retired Pat D. Herron, and the Pledge to the Texas Flag was led by Chapter Regent Ruth Ann Haney.
After an introduction on ceremony contents, the scouts performed the most important part of the ceremony. The cutting of the flag. First the scouts cut the field of blue from the stripes as several Scouts held the flag firmly. Next, they cut each stripe from the "whole" and laid each piece, one at a time on the top of the other flags being retired. In all we collected more than thirty flags.
As the scouts cut each stripe, a participant read the significance of that stripe. Each stripe had a historic reading from our early history. This provided the opportunity to have more than thirteen audience members participate in addition to the Scouts, and program leads. Readers included chapter members, a US Navy veteran and chapter member, CAR members, parents of the Scouts and chapter members from Jane Long Chapter. Chapter member Alicia Spear read a stripe along with her three sons, CAR members Quinn, Kaden, and Harley.
After the reading of the stripes and the cutting completed, we ended with a reading of a version of ‘Old Glory’, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and a beautiful closing prayer by Linda Taylor. After the Scouts processed out, they were presented with a certificate of appreciation and group photos were taken.
After refreshments of homemade cookies from a local bakery, the Scouts were led on a tour of the historic cemetery, by a Lady Washington Chapter member. They visited the resting place of a
WWII Veteran killed in action in France. PFC Emmet Emil Kluge was a soldier with the 65th Division. The division landed at Le Havre, France 21 January 1945. After additional training they entered combat and on 29 and 30 March 1945 they crossed the Rhine River into Germany at Oppenheim. PFC Kluge died in combat 1 April 1945.
Next the Scouts were taken to see the resting place of a descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll of Carrollton from Maryland. They were made aware of the several Dionisio Rodriguez concrete sculptures throughout the cemetery that have helped place this cemetery on the National Register of Historic places.
We were delighted to have four DAR members from other chapters including James Hardage Lane 1, Jane Long Chapter and Heritage Trails attend the Flag Retirement ceremony.
The Scout troop and leaders will next take the flags to a safe place and conduct the burning of the flags. They will then inter the ashes in a designated site.