19 March 2019 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Fort Worth, TX – TX-388 Fort Worth Phoenix Composite Squadron participated in a flag retirement ceremony on March 16, 2019. The event was held at the American Legion Post 655 located at 2817 Carson Street in Fort Worth. Five cadets were tasked with personally escorting each flag throughout the ceremony.
Flag retirement is a longstanding tradition within the American Legion. Unserviceable flags are always handled with the utmost respect and dignity. Since 1937, the ceremony has been an integral part of the American Legion’s mission to serve its community.
Cadets escorting unserviceable flags: (L to R) C/SMSgt Kurt Hutchison, C/CMSgt Kevin Schramm, C/CMSgt Timothy Gore, C/2dLt Kincaid Schramm, C/1stLt Sean Mazza (photo credit Capt Shirrel Schramm)C/CMSgt Kevin Schramm reported he felt “great pride to be involved in the proper retirement of a flag.” The American Legion adheres to the same solemn step-by-step ceremonial guidelines laid out in their flag retirement resolution formally outlined in 1944. These state, in part:
WHEREAS, Americanism has been and should continue to be one of the major programs of The American Legion; and
WHEREAS, The observance of proper respect for the Flag of our country and the education of our citizenry in the proper courtesies to be paid the Flag is an essential element of such Americanism program; and
WHEREAS, It is fitting and proper that Flags which have been used for the decoration of graves on Memorial Day be collected after such service, inspected, and worn and unserviceable Flags be condemned and properly destroyed.
The formal ceremony is held outdoors in the late afternoon or evening. The American Legion Commander, Vice Commanders, and Sergeant at Arms all participate. Each individual follows a traditional challenge and response protocol, ensuring each flag that is presented for retirement is truly unserviceable and no longer worthy of public display. Civil Air Patrol cadets were tasked with escorting a single flag throughout the ceremony, before returning for additional flags.
TX-388 Deputy Commander for Cadets, Capt Shirrell Schramm commented that “Civil Air Patrol cadets are ideal candidates to serve in flag retirement ceremonies. While learning deep respect for our nation’s symbol of freedom, they are able to serve their community in a very real and practical way.” The cadets that participated in the event all agree. C/CMSgt Timothy Gore recognized how special the opportunity was for him and his fellow cadets. “Only a handful of cadets get to participate such a solemn event. It required a lot of respect for the flags.”
TX-388 Fort Worth Phoenix Composite Squadron meets at the Fort Worth Aviation Museum located at Ross Ave on the south end of Meacham Airport. The squadron is the winner of a number of distinctive awards. It is a 4-time Squadron of Merit Award winner and is the 2018 Col Dion E DeCamp Ground Team of the Year Award winner. The squadron’s 50 members proudly serve the north Fort Worth community. For more information, please visit www.tx388cap.org.