Matthew Wrobel realized that many of the grommets attached to U.S. flags were made of brass. After retiring nearly 3,000 flags in less than two years, Wrobel had 22 pounds of brass and an idea.
He had a bell cast from the grommets and presented it to Department of Idaho leadership during its100th convention.
"It was very emotional to see my idea come to life. But the greatest gift I was given in this was hearing the bell ring when the gavel struck it," said Wrobel, Department of Idaho membership chairman and commander of Post 113 in Meridian. "My heart filled with pride and my eyes filled with tears of joy to see something so beautiful rise from the ashes of our flag disposals."
Wrobel presented a bell cast from the grommets of 1,500 American flags to Department Commander George Woodman on July 13; also present were National Commander Denise H. Rohan, Past National Commander Alan G. Lance and National Judge Advocate Kevin Bartlett.
Another bell was cast from the remaining grommets and given to Wrobel by the company in Indiana who made it.
"Every time I look across my living room and see the bell it gives me goosebumps. It also brings memories of the different flag disposals that we performed to collect the material to create it," Wrobel said.