Hometown Heroes - Retiring Old Glory

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 5:52 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - There are many traditions and protocols to follow with the flag of the United States. Just watch any military ceremony and you’ll notice the care and respect of Old Glory. That’s what members of the Westlake Mayor’s Armed Forces Commission wanted to convey in this week’s flag retirement ceremony where they were assisted by the Westlake Fire Dept.

“One of the big emphasis points in the academy is the flag and putting it up every day,” said Jonathan Duff, Westlake Fire Chief. “We’ve got a lot of young guys and we wanted to just bring them in and have them experience this. It’s something we’ve been planning for a long time. We’re a very heavy veteran department.”

Marine veteran Richard Morgan conducted the ceremony.

“As the flag is being consumed by the fire, we salute it, we do everything we can to it, including a prayer,” said Morgan. “Then we give Taps to it at the end, as the flag is being consumed. That’s what we would do with every veteran, so it’s almost like a veteran to us, too.”

Rodney Hennigan isn’t a veteran, but his family was well-represented in the military.

“As the parent of 4 children who literally stand up to provide us the freedom and protections we have, there’s a real sacrifice not only on the children but on their loved ones as they’re far from home, especially in harm’s way,” said Hennigan, a member of the Armed Forces Commission.

About 50 flags were retired in the ceremony. If you have a U.S. flag that is no longer serviceable, you can drop it off at any Johnson Funeral Home location.