An Irish-American Rockaway resident has offered to rescue American flags from trash cans as a Flag Day tribute.
Sanitation Worker Ed Shevlin was disgusted when he rescued several American flags from the trash heap on Flag Day.
Now the New York Daily News reports that Shevlin has offered to travel anywhere in the five boroughs to collect unwanted, tattered flags and make sure they are disposed of properly.
A former Irishman of the Year, Shevlin has vowed to drive anywhere in the five boroughs and Nassau County to pick up unwanted flags.
He said: “For the past 236 years, Americans have fought and died for our flag.
“It breaks my heart when I find American flags in the garbage next to dirty diapers. Old Glory deserves better than that.”
Shevlin told the paper how he grabbed two flags out of the trash on Friday and received another one from a friend who heard of his mission.
The report says another friend has volunteered to work with Eagle Scouts at the U.S Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point to dispose of the flags correctly.
The paper adds that several methods, including burning, are used to retire American flags. There is usually a short, somber ceremony to mark the occasion.
Shevlin, 52 and known as Shevy by friends and colleagues. is the Sanitation department’s Renaissance man.
He has previously won a scholarship from the Irish Fulbright Commission and was honored as the Irish Man of the Year by the City Council.
He has driven his motorcycle cross country to raise money for charity including juvenile diabetes.
Shevlin added: “I urge people to contact me on my Facebook page Ed Shevlin and let me know about any flag that needs to be saved. I’ll see it gets a respectful retirement.”