Community supports efforts to honor old flags as the Boy Scouts and veterans work together to retire over 400 worn American flags
Local Vietnam War veteran Jerry Deible takes great pride in the American flag and what it represents for all citizens. For the last 14 Springs or so he has visited all veteran graves of Murrysville in order to place a small American flag next to ever passed vet. Eventually every flag fades in the sun and gets tears from intense storm conditions. Every time he sees an old flag waving beyond its glory days, he cringes along with other American Legion members.
The American Legion decided to reach out to the Boy Scouts of Troop 205 in order to properly dispose of the deserving flags with honor, dignity, and respect. Deible got in touch with the troop early this year. Between both groups, around 400 worn flags in need of a hasty retirement were collected. Some flags were gathered during a community festival, while some people brought them directly to the Legion after seeing well-placed advertisements. The Legion and Troop also handed out flag etiquette pamphlets to anyone interested.
The actual flag retirement ceremony will be nice and brief. They plan on using a combination of two or three ceremonies all wrapped in one. Legion members are sure to enjoy it, along with anyone from the public is welcome to join. Deible remains amazed at the pure enthusiasm the boys have for this event. Parents alike also show support for the event.
Troop 205 learned the procedure back in October, but the unfortunate timing of Hurricane Sandy forced the event to be rained out. Retiring flags is no new task for the Boy Scouts, but learning the proper procedure is crucial. Every little step has specific meaning. Even the fire must be just right. Four different types of wood – redwood, oak, cedar, and walnut – make up the fire and each stand for a virtue of the American spirit.