By Pam Dudding
Our Craig Valley VFW Post 4491 led the parade, stopping in front of the courthouse, to retire the tattered flag that was flying and replace it with a new one.
At first, people were unsure of what was happening, then it became obvious as veterans surrounded Old Glory and military attention was given.
As the flag was raised, honorary salutes were given and then a prayer was spoken, written by Ken Looney, Chaplain of Craig Valley VFW Post 4491.
“Heavenly Father, as we gather here today, on this Independence Day, to pay Honor and Tribute on the retirement of this ‘OLD FLAG,’ may we who cherish our Freedom, and our sacred Liberties, to never forget the high price, self-sacrifice, and shed blood, paid to ensure us these Freedoms, because we know all too well that ‘Freedom is Not Free.’
“Though this ‘FLAG’ is tattered, frayed and battle weary, it still demands our highest Honor and Respect, as it brings back our remembrance of all our Nation and what this flag stands for, and also for the Blessings of our God to live in the Greatest Nation Ever created.
“So, this ‘OLD FLAG’ has well-earned its time of rest, as we lower it in time-honored respect, and raise up a NEW FLAG to stand in its place.
“May we, a people PROUD and FREE, pay our highest respect to our ‘OLD GLORY,’ and may our God continue to Love and Bless our Nation, THE United States OF AMERICA. May GOD BLESS AMERICA, in whose Nation we stand, forevermore! Amen.”
A quiet respect filled the air, until the veterans gave their final salute and walked back to their truck.
A respectful applause followed, as many who attend these events understand that many of our veterans share much more of a relationship with “Old Glory” than can ever be written on paper or spoken in words.
A special “thank you” to our veterans and active military of Craig County, for your service and continued care for our community.