Veterans will come together next week to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the American Legion.
Founded Mar. 15, 1919, the American Legion is a national veteran service organization committed to mentoring youth and advocating for veteran's interests. This year marks its 100th year as an organization, and a celebration will be hosted by the Chris Kyle Post 388 in Midlothian and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3894 in Waxahachie.
The celebration will include a flag retirement ceremony, where the Posts will collect hundreds of worn flags and dispose of them from service.
“It’s about honor and respect,” American Legion adjutant Robert Sonnier explained. “U.S. flag code says when a serviceable flag is no longer serviceable, it must be retired with honor and respect. We’ll do between 750 and 900 flags.”
Sonnier said he'd been involved with the program for about 30 years, and he appreciates how the Posts brings people together through their experiences in the military service.
“There are 208 different programs in the American Legion,” Sonnier stated. “I believe in it. What do you want to get involved in? We’ll get you involved.”
Although there is no documented official way to retire an American flag, Sonnier explained that there is a formal way to retire a Texas flag. A team of 20 individuals will use that method for their flag retirement ceremony.
“You have to cut off each stripe from it,” Sonnier stated. “Then you retire each stripe into the fire one at a time. Then the 50 stars are retired as a unit, showing the unity of the 50 states.”
Sonnier said the ceremony would have food available on the site, as well as feature former national commander John Breiden as a guest speaker. Sonnier encourages residents to come out to the ceremony and bring any worn flags to be retired.
The Waxahachie VFW Post 3894 is located at 1405 Interstate 35 East. To learn more about the Chris Kyle Post, call 469-552-6723.