Bordentown Township community honors nation’s colors with special event

Members of Bordentown Boy Scout Troop 13 salute the colors of the nation at the Sept. 14 Flag Retirement Ceremony at Northern Community Park. Photo by Thomas Wiedmann
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Members of Bordentown Boy Scout Troop 13 salute the colors of the nation at the Sept. 14 Flag Retirement Ceremony at Northern Community Park. Photo by Thomas Wiedmann

For the past three years, the Bordentown Township municipality has aimed to honor the country’s flag with the coordination of a special event.

With the help of Bordentown’s Boy Scout Troop 13, municipal officials and members of the township’s Veterans Advisory Committee were the hosts to a Sept. 14 flag retirement ceremony at Northern Community Park on Groveville Road.

A flag retirement ceremony is intended as a way to properly dispose of, yet honor a worn-out American Flag by burning it. The ceremony is aimed to be conducted in a respectful, symbolic manner as the flags are burned.

Approximately 30 people attended this year’s ceremony to properly discard their flags as well as witness the event’s ceremonial activities, which included a Retiring of the Colors by Troop 13.

Upon the morning’s processions, Bordentown Township Mayor Stephen Benowitz explained the importance and significance of the event to the community as well as its importance in honoring the community’s veterans.

Benowitz explained that the flag retirement service plays a key role as one of the township’s major annual events to honor military veterans alongside the municipality’s Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day ceremonies.

“These are the type of events that show respect to our veterans and the service they provide us,” Benowitz said. “We have the highest regard for our veterans and our Veterans Advisory Committee.”

The Bordentown Township Mayor explained that events in the township aimed to honor local military actively serving, retired or deceased, are coordinated and headed in conjunction with the township’s Veterans Advisory Committee.

Officials said the purpose of this committee is to engage local veterans to discuss issues affecting them and proactively advise the township committee on behalf of veterans, as well as facilitate awareness and access to available programs and benefits for them.

One way the local veterans group facilitates these ideals is through programs and events such as this year’s flag retirement ceremony to honor the nation’s flag.

Bryan Branson, Chairman of the Veterans Advisory Committee, said he felt that the event’s inclusion of Bordentown’s Boy Scout Troop 13 particularly helps the youth in the community understand the importance and symbolism of the star-spangled banner.

“It’s important to have the community come together like this because the boy scouts learn civic duty, respect, what being a true American is and why they do it,” Branson said.

Branson also explained that event’s like this, which aim to honor the one of the country’s most prominent symbols can help serve as a standard event to be held among other communities throughout the state and country.

“It’s a way to properly respect the American flag for what it is and what is represents,” Branson said. “This should be done annually by every township and city because just throwing them in the trash goes against flag protocol.”