SCMUA retires American flags


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  • The total flags retired.




  • The ceremony's participants.




  • Raymond J. Doyle American Legion Post 86 Salutes and distributes the flag ashes on the grave of a fallen comrade.




The Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority held its 5th Annual American Flag Retirement Ceremony at the Northern New Jersey Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, on Tuesday, June 26, in honor of Flag Day.

This unique memorial service was for the proper and respectful retirement of over 1,300 pounds of unserviceable American flags collected at the SCMUA Recycling Center. Derek and Kevin Cooke, proprietors of Abbey Glen Pet Memorial Park, have partnered with the SCMUA to utilize their crematory for an environmentally-focused method of combusting large quantities of flags without releasing harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.

The ashes from the previously retired flags were presented to John Harrigan of the Vietnam Veterans of America (Wallkill Valley Chapter 1002), and interred on the graves of fallen service men and women, as part of ceremony.

The goal of this program is to renew awareness of the need to provide environmentally sound alternatives, for the final disposition of our national symbol. Abbey Glen is noted to have the first NJDEP issued facility air permit, for the annual combustion of American flags. As a result of this program, over 4,750 pounds of flags collected at the SCMUA Recycling Center have been properly incinerated under State and American Legion guidelines, with the ashes retired in a place of honor at the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Representatives from Abbey Glen, Sussex County Chosen Board of Freeholders, SCMUA Board of Commissioners, American Legion, and Veteran’s organizations took part in the ceremony.









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