American Flag Retirement
- THIS EVENT OCCURRED IN THE PAST - Jun 14, 2019
Veterans Memorial Park to Host Flag Day Knights of Columbus Deluna Assembly 156 Flag-Retirement Event:
Pensacola, Fla., May 30, 2019:
Veterans Memorial Park of Pensacola (VMP) will be the setting for an inaugural flag-retirement event this year on Flag Day, June 14, when the Knights of Columbus Deluna Assembly 156, the Fourth Degree Assembly of Pensacola, joins the Park Foundation to conduct the honored ceremonies. In doing so, the Deluna Assembly will be reviving its own previously long-held Flag Day practice of respectfully retiring its flags. The public is invited to this very special event, which will start at 6 p.m. at the Park.
The Knights of Columbus (KOC) was founded in 1882 by Fr. Michael J. McGiveney, a Catholic priest in New Haven, Connecticut. Its founding principles were charity, unity and fraternity, with a primary focus on charity. Patriotism, called the Fourth Degree, was added in 1900. The Deluna Assembly 156 was established on June 1, 1959. At the time, it met at the former KOC Hall at 519 N. Palafox Street, and soon after began conducting a flag-retirement ceremony in the hall’s parking lot as a Flag Day tradition. Family members were invited and numerous flags were ceremoniously duly retired.
The Hall was sold in 2014, leaving the Deluna Assembly to meet at various Catholic churches in the greater Pensacola area. Without their own facilities, the yearly retiring of flags ceased. In 2018, however, the Deluna Assembly found a permanent home at Msgr Sindik Hall on the St Paul Catholic Church campus. Soon, its new leadership decided to revive its flag-retirement tradition.
A member of the Deluna Assembly, whose grandson is in the Boy Scouts of America, helpfully suggested joining that group in its flag-retirement program at the VMP Memorial Day event. However, Deluna Assembly tradition held Flag Day as the date on which to honor the flags’ retirement. Instead, therefore, with permission granted by the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, and the appropriate City of Pensacola permits received, the Deluna Assembly members will retire their personal flags on the very day named and set aside for the remembrance and care of America’s beloved ensign.
It is fitting that the Patriotic Degree of the Knights of Columbus join in conducting this event at the Veterans Memorial Park of Pensacola. The Deluna Assembly, which is made up almost entirely of veterans, expects to keep it an annual tradition similar to its annual practice of marching in the Veterans Day parade. In addition, the members generously contribute both monetarily and in terms of volunteered man-hours to the VA Joint Ambulatory Care Center in Pensacola.