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June 11, 2013 8:41 am

Old Glory honored this week in Park County

Written by Tessa Schweigert

While crisp, bright American flags fly in Cody’s Field of Honor this week, old tattered flags will be formally retired in Powell.

The two local events coincide with Flag Day, recognized Friday.

In Cody, a sea of stars and stripes is on display along Stampede Avenue on the grounds of the Park County Complex. The Field of Honor consists of 1,000 American flags, paying tribute to those who have served their nation or community.

The second annual event is a fundraiser for the Cody Heritage Museum and Historic DeMaris Building.

Cody remains the only community in Wyoming to host the Field of Honor. Last year, 800 flags flew.

“… With over 1,000 flags this year, it will look even more impressive,” said Marge Wilder, president of the Board of the Cody Heritage Museum, in a news release. “We were so amazed at the support we received from the community, our sponsors and dedicated volunteers.”

The Field of Honor officially opened Monday evening and is on display for public viewing from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Flags can be sponsored in memory or honor of an individual.

On Wednesday, a ceremony from noon to 2 p.m. honors veterans and first responders. Vietnam veteran Anthony Searhorn and his wife, Janet Seahorn, are the guest speakers. They are co-authors of the book “Tears of a Warrior.”

Anthony Seahorn and other honored guests also will speak Friday during a special Flag Day event from noon to 6 p.m.

For a full schedule of events, visit www.codyheritagemuseum.org.

Flags cost $38, and sponsors get to keep the flag and pole after the event concludes this weekend.

To sponsor a flag or for more information, visit www.healingfield.org/cody13 or call Jenny Zink at 307-578-8775 or Wilder at 307-587-2692.

The Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce is willing to help pick up flags for Powell residents after the event this weekend.

Flag retirement

On Friday, members of the American Legion will conduct a flag retirement ceremony at 8:30 a.m. near the Cabre Gym at Northwest College.

The flag retirement takes place during the week of Girls State (see related story, Page 2). Several flags will be burned during the ceremony, which is open to local residents.

“A flag retirement is actually a funeral for a flag,” said Pat Miller with the American Legion. “It’s out of respect for the flag.”

The flags that will be retired Friday are beyond repair. Miller said many of the flags brought to the American Legion flag depository are still in good condition, only needing minor repairs or cleaning.

“Flags can be repaired and laundered,” she said. “Usually they just need a little soap and water and TLC.”

Miller and Arlene Goodchild, a Girls State leader, said they hope the high schoolers and local residents come away with a greater appreciation for the flag and what it represents.

“When it’s flying, it’s serving our country. It represents America, and it needs to be treated with respect — not only when it’s flying, but when it’s no longer able to fly,” Miller said.

Seeing the retirement firsthand provides a time for respect as well as reflection.

“We’re losing so many symbols of America. We can’t let people forget what the flag is and what it means,” Miller said. “To veterans, it means almost everything.”

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