Nov 10, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterRiverton Boy Scout Troop 44 decided to commemorate Veterans Day this year by retiring three American flags during a fire-lit ceremony Monday evening.
"They wanted to do something special," scout master Bob Connelly said. "These flags are all very old, tattered and torn, and the boys will respectfully dispose of them by burning."
The public is invited to attend the ritual, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday behind the Riverton Methodist Church, 1116 W. Park Ave.
Connelly said it will be a solemn occasion for the Boy Scouts.
"They have lots of time for rough-housing, but this is a time when they're serious," Connelly said. "It'll be dark, we'll have a campfire, and the boys will all be in uniform. ... The senior patrol leader (will) call for his patrol leaders to come forward, and they'll each be given a flag."
The boys will unfurl the banners and inspect each flag before retiring it in the fire
The troops have the ceremony well-rehearsed: Connelly said he regularly receives old flags from residents, who know it's not appropriate to throw the Stars and Stripes in the garbage. Troop 44 often disposes of the flags during overnight trips.
He said flags also can be retired through burial, with the service held in honor of men and women who have died for the United States.
Veterans Day events begin earlier Monday in Riverton, with volunteers placing flags along local roadways at about 6 a.m. to recognize area service members.
The Avenue of Flags will be up by 7 a.m., when local veterans will host a pancake breakfast First Baptist Church, 840 N. First St.
"There will be flags and everything else flying around there," Wyoming Veterans Commissioner and Riverton resident Pat Lawson said. The meal is served through 10 a.m.
At 11 a.m., local families host a parade beginning at Bank of the West, 123 E. Main St. Lawson said the local Marine Corps League Detachment 683 will serve as honor guard for the event.
Anyone is invited to participate in the march, which will culminate in a free chili feed, also at First Baptist Church.
The Veterans Day program and reception in Pavillion begin at noon at Wind River High School, 1994 Cougar Drive.
Art teacher Joy Jones said local veterans in attendance will be recognized by name, and each service member will receive a packet of thank you letters written by Wind River students.
Commander John Borgan of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Wind River Post 3628 will be in attendance to lead the Pledge of Allegiance, and Lawson said a group of veterans will perform the POW/MIA Ceremony during the event, followed by a keynote speech by Wyoming's American Legion Commander Doug Uhrig.
American Legion State Chaplain Allen Lambert and District 3 Commander Warren Hess also are scheduled to attend.
Jones said students will be very visible during the ceremony as well. Military science students will present and retire the American flag, and a Wind River seventh-grader will sing the National Anthem a cappella, followed by a concert of patriotic music by third- and fourth-graders.
Students also helped decorate and plan for the event. Jones's class drew American Flag art that will be displayed Monday evening, and members of a cooking course made snacks for the reception after the assembly.
Smaller children who attend an after-school program in Pavillion made hand-held flags for the student body to hold. "We're a pretty busy school," Jones said.
In Lander, about 20 military science students plan to participate in a Veterans Day celebration at 1 p.m. at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse.
"The students do a great job of showing respect and appreciation to veterans," local pastor Tim Senter said.
Other ceremonies begin much earlier in Lander, however, with a cannon salute at 5 a.m. Monday at the VFW, 11 Tweed Lane. A breakfast is served from 7-10 a.m. at the VFW, then a lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In the evening, the Hanson Family Singers perform at 7 p.m. at the Frasatti Hall, 275 N. Third St. The hour-long concert will include patriotic fiddle tunes, yodeling and harmony, followed by round dancing. Free-will donations will be accepted during the event.
In Fort Washakie, a Veterans Day breakfast is scheduled for 7-10 a.m. at Rocky Mountain Hall. The festivities continue at 2 p.m. hosted by Fremont County School District 21 in the Fort Washakie School gymnasium, 90 Ethete Road. Veterans wishing to attend should call 332-5983 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org"
At 1 p.m. a Veterans Day Powwow takes place at in Arapahoe, with a program honoring veterans at 4 p.m.
The event coincides with a 1 p.m. Veterans Day Assembly at Arapahoe School. Veterans are invited to a lunch before the assembly, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information call 856-9333.