On Saturday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Schick-Ogle Post 4278 joined with Boys Scouts and Cub Scouts to offer the Camas-Washougal community its first public flag retirement ceremony in many years.
Held at Marina Park, the event was, as one might expect, poignant and emotional. Under the VFW’s guidance and watchful eye, the scouts conducted the burning of 10 American flags, retiring them with a level of dignity and respect that was palpable.
The local event was held as part of Flag Day, celebrated annually on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. That resolution stated that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
While Flag Day is not a federal holiday, citizens are encouraged to display their American flags.
Generally speaking, Flag Day is not widely commemorated, but VFW leader Bob Hitchcock said during the Washougal ceremony that the VFW hopes to make this event an annual tradition. It’s important for current and future generations that these kind of events do continue. For youth and adults alike, it instills a respect for the American flag and all of the history, pride and patriotism that it symbolizes.