TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – The Vail-Wolff McKenna Frye VFW Post 170 held a flag-burning ceremony on Sunday, properly discarding retired American flags. The Poughkeepsie ceremony, hosted by Post Commander Bernie Herzfeld and Past Commander Tommy Zurhellen, was arranged to discard dozens of flags that were collected by the post during the year.
The U.S. Flag Code says, “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.” The VFW ceremony coincides with Flag Day, commemorating the adoption of the United States flag by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.
The ceremony began with opening remarks from Zurhellen and Herzfeld leading the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. “The American flag is a symbol of our freedom but it’s also the symbol of sacrifice made by our veterans to protect that freedom,” said Zurhellen.
State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson paid a visit to the post as the flags were being burned and spent time talking to the veterans.
Dutchess County Director of Veterans Services, Adam Roche, brought flags to be disposed of and complimented the members of Post 170. “The men and women of Post 170 do incredible work on behalf of our veterans. Providing a place for proper flag disposal is just another example of their service to the community and country.”
The VFW Post 170 has a receptacle on their property where people can drop off worn flags for the Post to properly dispose of them.