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Flag Retirement Ceremony in Enterprise

Out with the old and in with the new. People gather in Enterprise for a formal bi-annual flag retirement event.
O'Neal Boswell, owner of the Sam Boswell Honda Dealership, discusses the significance of the flag replacement event and its impact on the community.
O'Neal Boswell, owner of the Sam Boswell Honda Dealership, discusses the significance of the flag replacement event and its impact on the community.
A flag is replaced at the Sam Boswell Honda Dealership during the Official American Flag Retirement Ceremony in Enterprise.
A flag is replaced at the Sam Boswell Honda Dealership during the Official American Flag Retirement Ceremony in Enterprise.
Commander Laird Culver and his wife, Auxiliary Commander Rebecca Culver, both with the state Disabled American Veterans Department discuss how the ceremony honors military veterans and teaches young people about the sacrifices made.
Commander Laird Culver and his wife, Auxiliary Commander Rebecca Culver, both with the state Disabled American Veterans Department discuss how the ceremony honors military veterans and teaches young people about the sacrifices made.
O’Neal Boswell, owner of the Sam Boswell Honda Dealership in Enterprise, Alabama, has hosted the Official American Flag Retirement Ceremony for the last five years.

“It’s very great to live in a country where we enjoy the freedoms that we do, and again to be in a community where you have a whole lot of people who have made that possible, and to be able to honor them and tell them thank you is very humbling,” said Boswell.

A 30 x 50 feet flag flies every day, developing wear and tear and fading over time.  So, twice a year, they retire and raise a new one, as a show of respect and to honor former and current service members.

“One of the best patriotic displays is when you can retire a flag and you can hoist a new flag.  We do this every six months with the Boswell Honda team, and it’s an honor to do it, because it’s the flag that most of us as veterans have served under,” said Commander Laird Culver of the Disabled American Veterans Department of Alabama.

His wife, Rebecca Culver, an auxiliary commander with the state DAV, says it’s an event that can shape the next generation.

“It’s great to see the young people out, to teach them about the respect for the flag, and also for them to interact with veterans, so that they can possibly know the sacrifices that the veterans made in order for us to be able to raise our flag of the United States,”  Mrs. Culver said.

Boswell shares her sentiments, saying events like this build a bridge between the generations.

“I think it does have an impact on the younger generation as they’re coming up.  It helps them understand that all the freedoms we do enjoy aren’t free, that they have been paid for by someone.  So when you have the girl scouts and the boy scouts, and you see the interaction with a WWII veteran all the way to a girl scout or a boy scout raising that flag, there’s nothing more patriotic than that.”

Many military veterans were in attendance, several of which served during World War II, sharing stories of their years in active duty.

“We had two World War II veterans that were here, fantastic fellows that were here, vibrant active, not something you would expect from fellow that were that long, long ago in the military. But they added a bit more credibility to this event,” said Laird Culver.

“I’m grateful and thank our community for supporting us and we’re very glad to be here in a great community filled with great people where we can do stuff like this,” Boswell said.

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