Disposing of the U.S. Flag
When Veterans Day is over, the flags must be removed from the graves; this year they were removed by Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Gallante, Mr. & Mrs. Mike Lewgood, Howard Johnston, John & Patty Sivek, Dave Yuhasz, Rick Alcorn, Kathy & George Molesky, Donna Thorpe, Loni Scott, Sidney Campbell, Gary Mendola and Rich Komosinski, led by Perry George of Monessen American Legion Post 28.
We then make an effort to encourage the public to deposit their worn, unused or unwanted flags in the bin located outside the Monessen public library, or bring them to the burning ceremony so they can be disposed of in a respectful ceremonious flag burning by Monessen Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post 1190 and Monessen American Legion Post 28.
The Monessen Fire Department provided a sizable fire pit for the ceremony at the Herman Milhalich Boat Launch Park in Monessen. Participating in the ceremony were John Dudas, Commander, Post 28, Ron Chromulak, Commander, Post 1190, Perry & Judy George, Lawrence Masci, Bob Gilotty, Joe & MaryAnn Gallo, Gary Mendola, Dave Yuhasz, Vivian Bernardo and Rich Komosinski.
A respectful ceremony was conducted by Chromulak, beginning with the presenting of arms to salute the flag, followed by everyone reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, an invocation asking God's blessing of those who are and have defended the flag.
An in-depth explanation of why and how the flags, worn out in worthy service, committed to a clean and purging flame, will be removed from further use. Following the United States Code, when a U.S. flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.
As the burning of the flags began, taps were played by Dudas, those gathered began putting the flags into the fire in the prescribed manner with the U.S. flags burned first, followed by the POW/MIA flags, then the state flag and finally the flags of the branches of the service: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.