Valley vets ceremonially burn flags

Staff report


The scent of burning fabric filled the air in front of Wickliffe Circle on Tuesday afternoon as veterans ceremonially burned American flags.

John Balint, local Veterans of Foreign Wars post commander, said he was glad to be properly disposing of the flags with the American Legion.

“We love this community support and that they retire the flags instead of just throwing their flags out,” he said. “I enjoy working together – all of us.”

Balint said they burn more than 1,000 flags each year – piling them up 2 feet high on a number of tables.

Sam Swoger, American Legion post commander, said Austintown’s road department also collected flags for the ceremony and brought a big box full.

Jordan Duzzny, 6, and Jacob Duzzny, 11, both of Austintown, came to show their respect and salute the veterans.

Jordan said he came to the ceremony to honor the people in the Army who died.

“We serve the days of the old flags by burning them,” Jacob said.

Outside the local VFW, 4150 Mahoning Ave., and American Legion posts, 3652 Oakwood Ave., there are drop-off boxes specifically dedicated to flag disposals.

Balint encourages any veterans to join either organization for support and camaraderie.

“We are trying to recruit new members, and we would love to have anyone come,” he said.

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