Final Salute to Old Glory

FlagAfricanfstival 115The Global War Veterans held their third annual flag-retirement ceremony on Saturday morning at Veterans Square at the Westlawn Cemetery.

FlagAfricanfstival 079There are more than 5,000 flags in cemeteries citywide, in addition to those on more than 100 flag poles in city parks and those on schools and municipal buildings. A flag has a life expectancy of about a year, unless it is near the river, then that time is cut in half.

More than 1,000 tattered, torn, and just worn-out American flags were properly disposed of in the cemetery’s 16-square-foot granite burn pit with the assistance of members of Lowell High School’s Air Force Jr. ROTC, as well as local Girl and Boy Scouts.

FlagAfricanfstival 166The Global War Vets, established in 2010, by Jack Mitchell, Jeff Hall, Greg Page, Thayer Eastman and Eric Lamarche, provides support to and advocates for veterans ages 30 to 45 — those who served in Grenada and Operation Desert Storm and at bases throughout the world in times of war and peace, as well as the younger men and women coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Global War Vets can be reached at

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