Kennedy Pride held its annual Flag Retirement ceremony in Hallquist Park.
More than 200 flags that had seen service in the community, both publicly and privately. Were honorably retired during the service.
Following the welcome by co-president Steve Stanton and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Co-President Becky Lindquist, Master of Ceremonies Roland Swanson offered s as prayer George Washington's Prayer for the Nation that was first given in 1783.
Army veteran Peter Johnson looks on as the flags are being retired at the Flag Retirement Ceremony.
P-J photo by Rose Mary Carver
Town Supervisor Jim Cooper acknowledged that the flags had become faded and worn and should be honorably retired.
Highway Superintendent Larry Mee and Army veteran Peter Johnson prepared the flags for retirement.
The honor of igniting the flags this year was given to Town Councilmen James Sopak and Norman Gustafson.
As the flags were retired Brandon Caruso played a trumpet solo, "America the Beautiful". Those in attendance felt the emotions of the moment as the flags were retired with the proper dignity.
Roland Swanson thanked everyone for coming out, then, as his reading, he read all eight verses of "America The Beautiful'.
Most people do not know all the verses of this familiar tune. To hear them read with such feeling gave everyone pause for thought as flags that had served many years were given their final retirement.
As all who were able stood, Brandon Caruso played "Taps" in honor of the flags. Many eyes filled with tears following the moving ceremony.
Swanson has been a driving force in the community for many years, and his knowledge of the proper procedures for such dignified services is greatly appreciated.
Following the service, Kennedy pride held a community picnic, with a large variety of food provided.
Music for the evening was provided by Michael Lettieri and his wife, Theresa.
Their variety of popular standards and Broadway show tunes made for an enjoyable late spring evening in Hallquist Park.