It took two years to get it built and on Saturday, the new fire pit at Newton Union Cemetery was broken in as close to 2,000 flags were given a proper send-off.
Members of Newton American Legion Post 111 partnered with Cub Scout Pack 356 and Boy Scout Troop 354 for the Legion’s annual Flag Day ceremony. Onlookers witnessed the torn, tattered and weather beaten versions of the stars and stripes be disposed of in a final blaze of glory.
“They’ve been inspected and judged now to be unserviceable from now on. And now we will lay them to rest,” Legion member Paul Brown told the crowd.
After reading a passage and then holding a prayer, Legion member Wallace Schermerhorn played “Taps” on a bugle and then the veterans and scouts got to work. Adjacent to the pit were boxes of miniature flags that previously decorated the graves of local veterans, and the table next to it was stacked with larger flags.
Working together, the organizations managed to properly dispose of the flags in about 20 minutes. A lot of Legion members were proud of how well the pit did in its first run. The idea to place a pit at Union was originally thought of by Ron Bookout of Newton.
Bookout and the Legion raised the funds to have it erected and hopes are high that it will serve the community for a long-time.
“When you guys are men, you can tell your children and grandchildren that you were first ones to use it,” Schermerhorn said addressing the scouts after the ceremony.
Senior Staff Writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at, firstname.lastname@example.org