By Lindsay Starr Platt
Saturday morning at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 4008 in Belton almost 50 local Boy Scouts of America and Girls Scouts of America participated in a flag retirement ceremony. For U.S. flags to be properly retired they are burned. The scouts also retired Texas and veteran organization flags as well during the ceremony.
“I thought this is a really good ceremony,” said James Roach, Boy Scout. “I think we hit this one home.”
“I hope we made the VFW proud,” commented Sebastian Welch, Boy Scout.
When flags are worn out, faded or tattered they need to be replaced with a new flag. The old flag needs to be retired in a manner that shows dignity to our nation and all the flag symbolizes.
“I hope I made my grandfather proud as he is looking down from heaven,” said Johnny Smith, Boy Scout.
“This is cool that the VFW is doing the flag retirement and with the scouts helping respectively retiring the flags,” commented Amy Burgar, Girl Scout.
The flags that are being retired are not to be dropped in the fire intact. They should be cut into pieces to ensure proper and complete incineration. The flags should be vertically and horizontally, with care taken not to cut the blue field of stars.
VFW in Belton has been doing flag retirement since 1945 and the boy scouts and girls scouts have been participating for eight years,” said Roger DeWeese, commander, VFW 4008.
Boy scouts get service points toward and girl scouts get a badge”, said Tom Wilson, Scout Master, Boy Scout Troop #177.
The scouts were treated to a lunch of hot dogs and ice cream after they worked hard all morning burning flags. All ages of scouts from youngest ranks to the highest enjoyed the day together and fellowship.
The kids learned citizenship and respect for the country,” said Halda Burger, Girl Scout Cadet Leader, Girl Scout Troop #8226.
“This makes the VFW guys happy. This event is good for our troop morale. It is always nice to show respect to the VFW because they support the boy scouts,” commented Christine Welch. “The VFW is busy collecting flags all year round for the flag retirement ceremony. The scouts are diligent and respect the flag and their elders. The VFW members enjoy it and the kids need more of that.”