CRANFORD, NJ - A very reverent United States Flag Retirement ceremony was held at the historic Post Office Plaza in downtown Cranford on Saturday, Sept. 17. Cranford’s VFW Post #335 was the sponsor of this second annual event featuring participation by town Boy Scout Troops #75 and #80 as well as a significant Girl Scout contingent. A combined color guard made up of both Cranford Fire Department and Cranford Police Department officers were in attendance along with Post #335’s Color Guard.
VFW Post Commander Jay Boxwell was the master of ceremonies of the well attended event which featured several boy and girl scouts speaking on the meaning and history of “Old Glory”. The center piece of the day was the solemn presentation of several faded flags which were customarily retired by ceremonial burning in a fire pit at the plaza while surrounded by patriotic onlookers.
“This was a great opportunity to not only teach our youth the history and traditions of our flag but also to remind our community once again, of the importance of our flag and showing the respect that the long standing symbol of our nation so greatly deserves,” said Commander Boxwell.
Of special note was the very moving playing of TAPS by a talented Boy Scout member, which when combined with the VFW Color Guards memorial rifle volley added greatly to solemnity of the event.
The ceremony was held beneath the Post Office Plaza flag pole originally constructed and dedicated in 1918, that was hastily removed and sent to the muddy fields of the town Conservation Center in 2003, only to be returned though the dedication of a committee made up of various townspeople which raised thousands of dollars to bring back the flag pole to its original glory and place in 2009.