Local businesses have joined together to support plans for the Third Annual POW-MIA Recognition Ceremony and Flag Retirement planned in Great Bend this Saturday and Sunday.
According to information on the event, it will open downtown with patriotic music at 4:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 5 p.m.
In order to facilitate the program, the Great Bend City Council recently approved closing part of Lakin Avenue, and all of the businesses in the affected area have agreed to having the street closed during the event.
Lakin, between Main and Kansas, will be closed for the afternoon and according to information provided to the council by American Legion Post 180 Commander Bill Pickle, all of the affected businesses signed off on the closing.
Pickle’s material to the council specified that Family Jewels, Action Sports, Great Bend Floral, Brown & Isern, Crest Theater, Legends, Goss Insurance and My Town representatives all agreed to having the street closed for the event.
According to the organizers of the Third Annual POW-MIA Recognition Ceremony and Flag Retirement, the event will continue on Sunday afternoon, when it will include “a solemn ceremony to honor the flag and those who suffered to serve it.”
As part of that retirement, unserviceable flags are ceremonially burned, and to get ready for the event, the organizers are accepting worn and unserviceable flags this week. They can be brought to the American Legion Post 180, 1011 Kansas Avenue, or call 793-5912 for more information.
Flags can be dropped off at the Legion Post during operating hours, or they can be left at the door and they’ll be collected later.
On Sunday, the full flag retirement ceremony will take place at the American Legion Post, starting at 2 p.m. The public is again invited to attend and dedicate a flag to a loved one that served in the military, according to information from the organizers.
At the first event, there were almost 1,400 American flags brought by the public for retirement.
The U.S. Flag Code addresses the issue. “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.”