Recognition Day ceremony held in Brundidge

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 21, 2012

Members of VFW Post 7055 in Brundidge conducted a Recognition Day service at the Robert E. Barr Nutrition Center in Brundidge Friday. Quartermaster Freddie Turner, left, and Adjutant Neil Thrasher ceremoniously retired a flag as part of the service.

Few bells and whistles accompany Recognition Day each year, but members of Brundidge VFW Post 7055 did not let the day go unrecognized.

Post Adjutant Neil Thrasher and Post Quartermaster Freddie Turner conducted a ceremony at the Brundidge nutrition center in remembrance of those who are prisoners of war (POW) and those who are missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.

“We should never forget the men and women who are still being held as prisoners of war and those who are missing,” Turner said. “They have families here at home who are waiting and praying for their return. Recognition Day is set aside for us to remember them and their families. We should never forget them.”

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Turner said that until 1979, no commemoration was held to honor America’s POW/MIAs.

“That year resolutions were passed in Congress and a ceremony was held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan assigned priority to achieving the fullest possible accounting for Americans still missing from the Vietnam War era.

“Recognition Day jumped around the calendar a few times but is now held on the third Friday in September,” Turner said. “Recognition ceremonies are held all around the country and VFW Post 7055 believes that it is our responsibility to stand behind those men and women who are serving our country. We also believe that we should do all that we can to recognize those who have not returned and their families. That’s what Recognition Day is all about.”

In honor of America, Thrasher and Turner conducted a flag retirement ceremony.

“Our flag is a symbol of Americanism and should be disposed of in a dignified way,” Turner said. “The proper way to dispose of an unserviceable flag is by burning. But first, the flag is to be taken apart. A flag ceases to be a flag when it is cut into pieces.”

The flag is more than some brightly colored cloth, Turner said.

“It is the symbol of our nation. Together the seven red stripes and six white stripes represent the 13 original colonies that gained us liberty. The red stripes remind us of the lifeblood of brave men and women who were ready to die for our country. The white stripes remind us of purity and cleanliness of purpose, thought, word and deed. The blue is for truth and justice, like the eternal blue of the star-filled heavens. And the stars represent the 50 sovereign states of our union.”

Turner said the flag should be treated with respect when it is flying and it should be treated with the same respect when it is being retired.