MERIDEN — Organizers of the city’s annual Watch Fire, a flag-burning ceremony to dispose of old flags, are planning a special helicopter fly-in to mark the 20th anniversary of the ceremony.
This year’s event will be held Sunday from 2-3 p.m. at the American Legion Post 45, 835 Hanover Road.
Bob Williams, commander of the Legion post, said the plan is to have a Bell UH-1 Iroquois – nicknamed a “Huey” – fly in for the event, but added that could change
“We feel it's going to happen but you never know what is going to happen with these aircrafts,” Williams said.
The event allows the public to follow U.S. Flag Code by property retiring their worn, tattered, faded and torn flags by burning them. It was started 20 years ago by a small group of veterans, Williams said. Since then, the event has “mushroomed” from retiring a couple of hundred flags to more than 3,500.
“We’ve had people from the American Legion on a national level film it to show to other legions,” Williams said.
Gates will open at noon, according to an event flyer. Williams said the public can bring flags to burn up until around 1:30 p.m. The event will include food, drinks, and music, Guest speakers will talk about the history and meaning of the American flag.
“It’s very memorable and (attendees will) never forget it,” Williams said.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz is expected to attend. Former Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who has attended in past years, is also expected to attend.
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