Retired flags find new life in final salute to veterans

By Mike Hixenbaugh and Dianna Cahn
The Virginian-Pilot


(L. Todd Spencer / The Virginian-Pilot)
(L. Todd Spencer / The Virginian-Pilot)

Dave White appeared solemn as he pulled a flag-draped casket from the back of a hearse and slid the wooden box onto a gurney.

Carefully – to show proper respect – he wheeled the casket to the mouth of a roaring hot furnace, then stepped briskly across the dusty concrete floor to a portable CD player in a corner of the room.

White pushed “Play,” straightened his back, and placed his right hand over his heart – then stood motionless as a recording of “Taps” filled the room.

At Sturtevant Funeral Home, White said, no veteran is cremated without proper honors. “He served our country, and that’s the least we could do for him.”

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