WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — American Legion posts across the nation celebrated flag day on June 14 and American Legion Post 61 located in Watertown celebrated the holiday with a Flag Retirement Ceremony.

The purpose of the holiday is to commemorate the adoption of the U.S. flag on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The American Legion Post 61 started off the holiday’s 245th anniversary explaining to kindergartens at Sherman Elementary School the importance of the symbol of our country.

Members of Post 61 were able to speak with students about the stars, stripes, colors, and the significance of each. William Flynn is in charge of publicity for Post 61 and explained how he described the meaning behind the colors to students.

“The red in the flag meant bravery and courage and that the blue field with the stars in front represented the justice and the white for the purity because of the new independent country,” Flynn explained.

He also said he taught students about the importance of the American Flag. This included what to do when a flag is worn and torn from flying for our country.

“We never, never throw our flag in the trash,” Flynn said. “You know, we have proper disposal, which we are doing tonight.”

The Flag Retirement Ceremony started at 6 p.m. at the American Legion building located at 138 Sterling Street in Watertown. Wayne Sibley is the Commander for Post 61 and led the ceremony as he provided a background on the holiday and the importance of the flag on behalf of the American Legion.

“The flag has led our troops into battle and serves as a symbol of our country, and our freedom. It has withstood difficult weather conditions and unimaginable assaults and remains flying outside of businesses, schools, government buildings, at our outposts around the world, and even on the moon,” American Legion Auxillary HEadquarters stated in a press release about the holiday. “It is strong and resilient, just like the American people. In a world with so much unrest, our flag serves as an enduring reminder of our strength and the privileges of freedom and stability we enjoy in the United States.”

At the ceremony, the flag was inspected by the First and Second Vice Commanders before being honorably retired from further service. Sibley said it was amazing to see the community gather to honor the flag of our country.

“It makes me proud, that we do get the participation in ceremonies like this,” Sibley said. More information about Flag Day and the history behind the symbol for our country can be found here.