State Senator Patty Ritchie has collected over 20,000 “Stars for Troops” from Central and Northern New Yorkers who responded to her appeal to contribute worn and tired American flags as patriotic reminders of home for soldiers overseas.
The 400 flags that were dropped off at Senator Ritchie’s District Office locations in Oswego, Watertown and St. Lawrence Counties were four times the number she was seeking, and Senator Ritchie said that they would all be turned over to veterans and other groups that participate in the nationwide program.
“With our proximity to Fort Drum, residents of Central and Northern New York enjoy far more contact and interaction with members of our Armed Forces, so it really should come as no surprise that, whenever asked, the people of our region respond overwhelmingly to show their support for these brave men and women,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I am humbled by the generosity and patriotism of my friends and neighbors who, in making this simple gesture, are showing our troops that they are never forgotten—and always appreciated — by the folks back home whom they have sworn to defend.”
“Stars for Troops” is a program of volunteers who remove the stars from worn flags that have been cleaned, and then send individual stars along with care packages that are delivered to troops serving overseas. The flag remnants are disposed in accordance with approved flag etiquette.
Included with each star is a card that reads, “I am part of our American flag that has flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly. The sun and winds have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that you are not forgotten.”
While Senator Ritchie is announcing the end of the “Stars for Troops” campaign, she said her office would continue to collect worn American flags for proper disposal. Flags may be dropped off throughout the year during regular business hours at any of the Senator’s offices:
Watertown, Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St.
Oswego, County Office Building, 46 E. Bridge St., 1st Floor
Ogdensburg, City Hall basement, 330 Ford St.