The flattening rays of the setting sun hit me from the west as I drove up the Glendale (2) Freeway into Montrose. From seemingly nowhere, a flock of snowy doves performed aerial acrobatics overhead. And on the seat beside me was Old Glory. "Old" being the operative word.
That flag has been through a lot these past years. Draped over the shoulders of those wishing to glorify themselves; worn as a lapel pin by others out of mere duty. Though its stripes have weathered, its stars falling off, our American flag is majestic and enduring. So it would be disrespectful to let this one fly in front of my house in its tattered condition any longer.
When my friend Nick heard that I was disposing of my old flag, he chastised me.
"You're in trouble," he scolded. "You can either donate it to a local Boy Scout troop or the VFW." One doesn't dispose of the flag, he told me. One "retires" it ceremoniously and honorably.