The City of Pawtucket has installed three retired flag drop boxes throughout the city. These receptacles provide the citizens of Pawtucket with a location to properly dispose of their worn and tattered American flags.

The Pawtucket Parks and Recreation Division along with the assistance of 2nd District Councilor Mark Wildenhain helped to bring this to fruition. These receptacles were purchased through the generosity of donations from city and state officials including Congressman David Cicilline, Senator Donna Nesselbush, Representatives Raymond Johnston, Jr. and Jean Philippe Barros, City Councilors Mark Wildenhain, John Barry and Sandra Cano. ??Ted and Celeste Martins from the Pawtucket Veteran???s Council, William Conley, Jr and additional private donors contributed to the purchase as well.?? These units were installed with the assistance of the Department of Public Works.

The concept is not new but Recreation Director John Blais felt it was necessary to provide Pawtucket citizens with a location to dispose of their American flags. The concern arose after reading a local publication regarding the condition of flags displayed throughout the community. Blais’ former involvement with flag retirement ceremonies in other communities led to implementing the same program in Pawtucket. ??Conversations of this concept with Councilor Wildenhain led to the assistance necessary to attain, as well as gather donations for these units. ???We are proud to provide these receptacles to help respect the flag???, said Mayor Grebien. ???I thank Councilor Wildenhain and Director Blais for their leadership on this initiative. We are proud to work with the Pawtucket Veterans Council and 21 Heroes to continue to honor of vets and this great country.???

In addition to the receptacle currently at the entrance to City Hall, there are two scheduled to be situated in the near future at the Armistice Boulevard entrance to Slater Memorial ??Park and the Smithfield Avenue entrance to Veterans Park. Citizens will have the opportunity to leave their flag in these receptacles at their convenience.

??From there, the flags will be collected and disposed of properly. American flags are generally disposed of through a flag retirement ceremony. The plan to facilitate a community flag retirement ceremony was put on hold following the recent passing of Captain Jim Robbins who was President of Disabled American Veterans and Pawtucket Veteran???s Council prior to his passing. ??Robbins played an essential role at the onset of the plan.