Don’t know what to do with that old flag? Oliver’s Funeral home in Grande Prairie wants to help. This month, it will be hosting its third annual retired flag commemoration event. Funeral Attendant and Community Concierge Liesa Peters says old flags should be burned, not thrown in the garbage.
“I was having lunch with a veteran and across the street, there was a flag that was very tattered and torn and I said oh my goodness that flag needs to go in the garbage, they need to put a new one up. That is not the right thing to do. You don’t throw a flag in the garbage… It should actually be burned.”
Oliver’s collects flags from the public throughout the year and gets rid of them every year on National Flag Day. The first year, the flags were burned but the funeral home stopped that because of the material the flags were made of. Now they are buried by a group of veterans in a plot at the Grande Prairie Cemetary.
After they are buried, there is a moment of silence and then a lunch and some speeches back at the funeral home. This year, Peters says they have collected around 30 flags down from the 152 they received last year.
“It was a very big thing last year, we had 152 that came in and so the flags that replaced them last year don’t need to be replaced this year.”
Peters says it’s important that the funeral home carries on the tradition to show veterans that their service will not be forgotten.
“Our veterans are definitely growing older, we’ve lost quite a few. We just want to show the ones who are left that we want to carry on the tradition that the blood that was shed hasn’t gone in vain.”
The event will take place on February 15th at 10:30 am. It is free and open to the public. Anyone wanting to attend is asked to call Oliver’s at 780.532.2929.