“Raise the Flag” Initiative seeks to replace and retire old flags

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

P1000695SUFFERN – A new, countywide initiative to identify and replace old flags throughout the county as a public service began last week, providing a service for those who might not otherwise know how to honorably handle retired flags.

Operation Raise the Flag began at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ramapo Post 2973 in Ramapo on April 23 with a solemn flag-raising ceremony set to the sound of “Taps.”

The initiative will provide both American and POW/MIA flags to a variety of locations where they are needed. The flags are held until Flag Day, when they are properly retired.

In the instance of the Ramapo Post, the VFW needed a new POW/MIA flag. Their previous flag had served for many years, but had grown old and tattered and needed a replacement.

“They called us asking if we need a flag,” VFW Post 2973 Commander Charles Calotta said. “We said we could use the POW flag and they kindly came here.”

The Ramapo Post also hosts the Veterans Advisory Committee every few months, gathering former service members from across the county to discuss issues relevant to veterans.