Flag retirement ceremony

Sgt. John Sardiello Post 1638 of West Babylon, N.Y., held a flag retirement ceremony on the steps of the local town hall on Nov. 16, 2013. Below is a timeline of the day’s events.

All veteran post representatives, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to arrive by 9 a.m. for a run-through of the actual ceremony.
❖ Set-up (9:30-10)
o Everyone to assemble in front of Town Hall steps

❖ Open (10-10:10)
o Councilwoman Gordon
o Opening Prayer – Paul Buffa, Chaplain, Post 1634
o Display of Colors – Nick Malinelli, West Babylon Boy Scout Troop 104 (5 boys & 5 guards)
o Pledge of Allegiance & Creed – Nick Malinelli
o National Anthem – Renee Williamson, Girl Scout Cadette Troop 1922
o America The Beautiful (bagpipes) – Tara Penny, Wantagh American Legion Post Pipe Band, Post 1273
■ Welcome remarks
■ Introduction of elected officials
■ Acknowledge TOB Veteran’s Advisory Board members
■ Include a thank-you to Post 1634 for bringing the idea to the town of Babylon.
■ Posts participating in retiring the flags today
■ All Boy Scout & Girl Scout troops participating
• Boy Scout Troops 104, 1634, 2000, 86, 157,175, 398
• Cub Scout Packs 154,104, 398
• Girl Scout Service Unit 8
• Girl Scout Troops 1917,1848, 518,1922, 1669
11 Thank all fire departments and chiefs here today, especially WBFD for the arch and N. Lindenhurst to watch over the burning process
■ Review of program

❖ Veterans group representative (10:10-10:20) – Cmdr. Charles Volpe, Post 1634
o Remarks regarding history of flag retirement, proper ways to display the flag

❖ Group Breakout (10:20-10:30)
o Councilwoman Gordon will ask each Boy Scout and Girl Scout group to join a veteran representative to review the flag retirement procedure
Flag Raising/Burning (10:30-10:50)
o Councilwoman Gordon will ask everyone to join in viewing the raising of the 7 flags
o Veterans representative will narrate steps being taken as flags are lowered, folded, and burned (Cmdr. Charles Volpe)
o (Drum will be 30-gallon drum cut vertically to be laid horizontally on a stand) o Bugler to play Taps as the final flag goes in to be retired – Liam Gargiulo, Boy Scout Troop 1634

Closing (10:50-11)
o Councilwoman Gordon – final thank-yous
o God Bless America – Renee Williamson
o Shelby Graves of Girl Scout Ambassador Troop 3887 to read ‘What Makes Up Our Country’s Flag’
o Retire the colors
o Closing Prayer – Paul Buffa
o Final Announcements – Info booth; where to drop off your flags

Elected Officials
Councilwoman & Veteran's Advisory Chairperson Jackie Gordon Deputy Supervisor & Councilman Antonio Martinez
Councilman Tom Donnelly
Legislator DuWayne Gregory
Unable to attend but send regards:
Supervisor Rich Schaffer
Councilman Lindsay Henry
Town Clerk Carol Quirk
Tax Receiver Corinne DiSomma

Posts participating today:
Richie Tibbets, VFW Wade Burns Post 7279
Charlie Volpe, Joseph Regina and Paul Buffa, American Legion Post 1634
Bob Romano, Wayne Middleton Post 1839
Norman Sellers, Wyandanch Memorial VFW Post 361
Dave Turner, Coast Guard Station Jones Beach
Armen Enkababian, American Legion Babylon Post 94
Eugene Carbone, Amityville American Legion 1015

Closing of Ceremony (Shelby Graves, Girl Scout Ambassador Troop 3887): “Did you ever think what makes up our country's flag? Yes, there are stripes, a patch of blue, and some five-pointed stars, but they are just pieces of cloth. However, when the thirteen stripes of alternating red and white, representing the thirteen original colonies, are put together and the field of blue is in place with the stars, securely held together by millions of stitches, then we no longer have a piece of cloth and patches, but the flag of the United States of America. The emblem of our country. You know, we like to think that all those stitches represent We the people …that each and every one of us is represented in the flag by a stitch holding steadfast together as long as we are strong, and do our best to be good American citizens. All of you have seen what happens when stitches fail to hold. The flag would fall apart or unravel. That is exactly what can happen to our country if we, the citizens, do not hold steadfast to do our best. Our freedom or rights as citizens can be lost. Today and every day, let us show by our actions that we are worthy to be citizens of this great land – America. And let us never forget to show respect for our veterans and our flag.”