A flag burning we can be proud of is coming soon to Marco Island, the first in more than 10 years. It’s the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6370 flag retirement event, 5:30 p.m., April 11, at the New Veterans Community Park.
“We’ve not done this since before Marco Island became a city,” says VFW Commander Dave Gardner Sr.
“Since then we’ve been taking our used or damaged flags to the American Legion post in Naples and they sent them with theirs to a flag retirement facility out of town.
“People often ask us what happens to the retired flags and we thought it would be a good idea to have the ceremony here and invite the public to take part.”
Anyone can take a tattered or otherwise used flag to the event and the VFW members will put the flags into a metal container and burn them in the prescribed manner.
“We already have collected several hundred flags to retire at the event,” Commander Gardner says. He also notes that the VFW sells US flags to raise money for the local post’s operations and for other good causes.
“The price is very reasonable and the flags are made in America (Kansas City, Missouri). Also the purchase from the VFW is tax deductible.”
Just one of the post’s good works is contributing money to the program that sends calling cards to troops in the Middle East and elsewhere so they can afford to phone home.
One other example is close to home. A lady in Naples needed to visit her husband, a veteran, every day at a care center where he was gravely ill.
“She ran out of money and couldn’t afford taxis to be by his side,” Gardner explains. “So Post 6370 donated $500 so she could be with him in his last days. She was able to be at his bedside when he died.”
One other note. Obviously the VFW flag retirement container by City Hall is a former U.S. mailbox. But it is brightly painted in red, white and blue with stars and stripes. Words in bold lettering identify it as a VFW “Used Flag Depository.”
Still, the VFW members, who have to empty the box about every 10 days, have learned not to just remove the used flags in a bundle and put them into bags for proper disposition.
“We go through the flag box very carefully because we often find mail in there — envelopes that people have deposited, thinking it’s a mail box,” says Commander Gardner. He takes the found mail for postal pickup.
The moral of the story may be, not unlike, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” something like, “Don’t throw the electric bill out with the tattered flag.”
The new MICA survey — term limits anyone?
Would you favor a Farmers’ Market here in the summer and fall?
What about a public high school on Marco or the spending cap or the Tract K?
These are among 21 questions in the latest member survey by MICA, the Marco Island Civic Association.
For example, MICA asks “Are you in favor of term limits for members of Marco Island city advisory boards and committees?” Multiple choices include “No,” “Yes” for one, two or three 2-year terms and the ever-popular “Undecided.”
MICA also asks those surveyed to grade the performance of the City Council, the city manager and the planning board. That should be interesting so stay tuned.
Belonging to MICA obviously has its advantages. MICA has a members’ discount program with many local businesses and this survey also asks whether the members know about it and how often they use it. The MICA discount probably is a boon in these economic tough times.
Help for working moms with infant children
A new program at Youth Haven may interest working mothers who sometimes feel guilty about the time at work away from their babies.
It’s called “Crazy 4 You,” a series of four-week sessions on Saturdays at Youth Haven, 5867 Whitaker Road in Naples. The first session is April 18. Cost is $40.
The sessions will offer advice and lessons on how women can forge a positive and enriching connection with their babies and how to enhance the quality of their time together. For information, phone Marliese Vogel at 239-774-2904.
Two of my favorite quotes are relevant to the world of working mothers.
Author Jane Sellman is best known for saying, “The phrase ‘working mother’ is redundant.”
And from Roseanne Barr: “I’m not going to vacuum ‘til Sears makes one you can ride on.”
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