In observance of National Flag Day, two decommissioned newspaper boxes from the Press-Register have been renovated into receptacles for U.S. flags that need to be retired. Ceremonies dedicating the boxes will take place Thursday, June 14.
The community project was led by the Fatherhood Initiative. This is a community-based program sponsored by the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) that is designed to remove the barriers to being an effective parent through evidence-based practices and partnerships with various organizations. The facilitators educate participants throughout Mobile County at the Metro Jail, Desi Career Center, Waterfront Rescue Mission, and other community and faith-based organizations.
The Fatherhood Initiative has been nationally and regionally recognized for the efforts in connecting programs within the judicial and law enforcement community. It works closely with the Mobile Police Department (MPD). Curtis Graves, Director of Strategic Initiatives with MPD, also serves part-time as Program Administrator for the Fatherhood Initiative.
“We should honor Flag Day and Father’s Day in the same manner,” Graves said. “Like Flag Day, no one is permitted the day off for Father’s Day. The sacrifice for freedom, so recognized under our stars and stripes, is similar to the sacrifice of a Father.”
In tribute to this partnership, the first retirement box ceremony will take place at the MPD Headquarters at 2460 Government Street. Police Chief Lawrence Battiste is scheduled to attend the 9 a.m. event. Also set to speak is retired Navy Cmdr. Pete Riehm of the Military Officers Association.
The second box will be located in the lobby of MCHD’s Keeler Memorial Building at 251 North Bayou Street.
Once the boxes are full, the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Mobile will be contacted. A troop will be assigned to collect the flags and then conduct a proper flag retirement ceremony.