Evan Thompson / The Record — Tom Keltner folds Langley city hall’s old flag after retiring it on June 14.

Former Marines retire Langley City Hall flag

  • Tuesday, June 20, 2017 4:00pm
  • News

Members of Col. Richard “Buck” Francisco Marine Corps League Detachment 1451 conducted a formal Flag Day ceremony this past week when they replaced a decade-old flag at Langley City Hall.

A small crowd gathered to watch as the former Marines retired the old and slightly battered flag on June 14. Shortly thereafter, a new flag was hoisted to the top of a pole just outside city hall.

The organization also presented Langley Mayor Tim Callison with a certificate of appreciation.

“I was glad they could come and honor us with a flag,” Callison said after the ceremony. “It was wonderful.”

The members in attendance were Bob Gabelein, Tom Keltner, Don Nielsen, Jim Nelson, Greg Shering, Ed Donery, Frank Thornton and Dennis Phillips. Also present was Washington Marine Corps League Commandant Jim Renton.

At a meeting later that night, Renton officially designated the detachment with the number 1451. The organization was formerly known as the South Whidbey Marines until it had enough members to fulfill the requirements of the Washington Marine Corps League. It is now one of 16 Marine Corps League Detachments in Washington, according to the state Marine Corps League’s website.

Donery said Flag Day is about patriotism and remembering veterans who sacrificed their lives for the country. He said the flag is removed in a respectful manner so the institution can be honored. Keltner and Donery also added that it’s become a mission of the organization to replace old flags with new ones and are willing to conduct formal ceremonies for South Whidbey residents.

For more information about the Marine Corps League, contact Donery at 360-331-3721.

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