Veterans to hold American flag retirement ceremony in Lynn Saturday

From left to right are David Solime Sr., Allen Bruck, Jack Marino, Joe Dion, Fire Chief Dan Sullivan, Ken VanHorn, Ken Oswald. (Jack Marino)

LYNN — The Cpl. Scott J. Shoemaker American Legion Post 210 will hold an American flag retirement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday at Pine Grove Cemetery. This follows the success of the first ceremony the post had last year during Flag Day weekend, Post 210 member Jack Marino said.

The post is requesting those who have worn, stained, or tattered American flags to bring them to the Flags to Ashes – Ashes to Earth ceremony for proper disposal under the supervision of the American Legion and Fire Department.

A speaker will read “Old Glory,” and cadets of the Lynn English High School Marine Corps JROTC will perform the traditional retirement of the flag ceremony, which will finish with the placement of the flags’ ashes into the ground container. The container will then be covered until next year’s ceremony.

While the post has collected and burned retired flags for many years, the ashes were usually just disposed of by the Department of Public Works. Now, they are buried at a monument in the cemetery near the Lynn veterans memorial marker, an idea suggested by Post 210 member David Solimine Sr.

The idea to have a ceremony of this kind began in February 2022, when Marino read an article in the American Legion Magazine that said a post in Alabama built a monument where the ashes of retired flags would be buried.

“Why didn’t we do that?” Marino asked himself after he read the article. “So that really caught my attention when I read that. I took it back to our post, to a meeting, and brought it up to the members and Ken [Oswald], the commander, took it and said, ‘You know, this is a great idea. We should do that.’”

Solimine was very enthusiastic about the idea, Marino said, and provided the container to bury the ashes.

The rest of the event fell into place, Marino said. Everything for it was donated, including an engraving on the monument from Woodlawn Memorials Inc. in Everett, which says “All gave some, some gave all.”

The event went so well last year that nothing about it has changed, except for the fact that the post in Lynn has merged with the post in Saugus.

“We didn’t want to tinker with it,” Marino said. “The new fire chief, he’s all on board with making sure the Fire Department is there to douse the flames.”

The cadets participating in the ceremony are Ian Delarosa, Franchezca Carela, Ghafour Diallo, Maria Valera, Bezajia Forchap, Maria Rogeume, Keylin Garcia, Yasalis Amparo, Peter Akande, James Mulloy, Tasawwar Rayan, Eduardo Rodas, Tanvir Haque, Adam ElQuanon, Rachel Villanueva, Kyle Furlong, Alexa Sanchez, and Amaly Fresco.

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