Sun City Security Patrol treats flags with reverence

There’s a somber ceremony that’s performed twice a year by the Sun City Summerlin Security Patrol. It’s called flag retirement day, and it’s a highly respectful occasion, as you might expect. Equally important, it must be done in a proper manner when any flag of the United States becomes weather-beaten or otherwise tattered.

Traditionally, the first such occasion is held in May, in advance of Memorial Day, and with the assistance of Boy Scout Troop 912. The second ceremony, which involves only members of Security Patrol, occurs in late October, in advance of Veterans Day.

“The ceremony is a Sun City Security Patrol thing, and we take it very seriously, with all the respect that our flag deserves,” said longtime Security Patrol member Adrian Cole. He noted that both national holidays are days when a fair share of patriotism touches the hearts of most of us, and for good reasons.

According to Dorothy Macchio, the Patrol’s historian, the first flag retirement ceremony conducted in Sun City was performed jointly by Security Patrol and the Boy Scout troop on May 10, 2003.

So on or about Dec. 7 is as good a time as any to talk about how well-worn representations of Old Glory are being properly disposed in Summerlin. And for the benefit of anyone who doesn’t recall what happened Dec. 7, 1941, that was the day untold numbers of proudly displayed Stars and Stripes were unceremoniously destroyed, in addition to other havoc, during the sneak bombing attack on Pearl Harbor, which precipitated the start of U.S. involvement in World War II.

“We try to treat the retirement of flags with all the dignity it deserves,” explained Security Patrol Chief Dick Clark. The patrol consists of 235 Sun City residents who contribute their time, working four-hour shifts, to keep a constant eye on the community.

“People of Sun City know they can bring torn, tattered or weather-beaten flags to us for proper disposal,” Clark added. “We accumulate them and store them in our building. Then at every retirement ceremony we might have anywhere from 200 to as many as 400 tattered or torn flags. We burn them in an appropriate and solemn manner.”

“Appropriate” means that eight to 10 of the flags are burned at one time in an 8-foot barbecue grill while a recording of all four verses of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played. Typically, the pledge to the flag is performed to start the ceremony, followed by several patriotic readings pertaining to Old Glory.

“When the Boy Scout troop comes for the spring flag retirement, we let them do most of the patriotic readings,” Clark said. He noted that nearly 80 people, including Sun City residents, Patrol members and Boy Scouts, usually attend the May ceremony. “We had about 40 Patrol members at the most recent ceremony, on Oct. 21,” he added. Refreshments of pizza and soda drinks were provided by the Patrol.

The ceremony has always been conducted in the Sun City community picnic area, just behind Desert Vista Community Center and diagonally opposite the offices of Security Patrol. The Patrol’s quarters are at the far end of the Desert Vista parking area, at 10362 Sun City Blvd.

“We want to make it known that we have the greatest respect for our flag, and as such we will accept American flags for retirement from anyone, regardless of whether they live in Sun City or anywhere else,” Clark emphasized.

He said flags that must be retired can be brought either to the Patrol’s main office, which is open 24 hours every day, or to any of its three substations, which are open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. every day. Substations are at the entrances to Sun City, at Lake Mead and Sun City boulevards, Lake Mead and Del Webb boulevards, and Rampart and Del Webb boulevards.

Herb Jaffe was an op-ed columnist and investigative reporter for most of his 39 years at the Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey. His most recent novel, “Double Play,” is available. Contact him at hjaffe@cox.net.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Herb Jaffe Video
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like