Podcast: Fly the Stars and Stripes on This Flag Day, Says Haverhill’s Veterans Services Officer Santiago

Haverhill Veterans Services Officer Luis Santiago. (Courtesy photograph.)

Today is the 244th anniversary of the adoption of the American flag by the Continental Congress.

Flag Day began in the midst of the Revolutionary War in 1777. In a recent appearance on WHAV’s morning program, Haverhill’s Veterans Services Officer Luis Santiago talked about the significance of the day.

“Flag Day is a day that we are going to celebrate and recognize the stars and stripes of our flag, to reflect upon the values and the valor of the men and women in uniform to defended it. So, if you have a flag, raise it up high and show your patriotism towards our country,” he said.

Santiago noted residents with an American Flag that is torn or tattered may leave it at either of two drop boxes for proper disposal. One box is at the Driscoll Funeral home, 309 S. Main St., and the other at American Legion Post 4, 1314 Main St., Haverhill.

“There is a special way to  retire the flags, which you have to separate the stars and stripes from each other and cut them and dispose of them in a certain way. Usually, it’s done with the Cub Scouts. The Cub Scouts are the ones that actually do the ceremony alongside the American legion, but I believe this year, with the amount of flags that we have, it would be a nice little ceremony and if anyone would like to join we will have those dates and times available when the time comes,” he said.

Santiago is also in the process of planning a ceremony honoring Haverhill’s World War II veterans.

“If you know anybody, or if anybody has information on a veteran who served in the World War II era, I’m looking to do a recognition and a ceremony for them on July 10,” he said.

Santiago said it’s unfortunate the World War II is fading from memory and he wants to salute the living veterans and show them “we care, and that we will never forget.”

“That’s my main motto, that we will never forget. I believe that if you served in that uniform and raised that right hand, I believe you should be recognized for your efforts. And I want to thank them for that,” he said.

At the moment, Santiago knows of two World War II veterans in Haverhill. One is 97 years old and the other is 93. Those with information about others who served in World War II are asked to contact Santiago at the Citizens Center, 10 Welcome St., Haverhill, or call 978-374-2351.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

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