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Legion, Scouts retire old flags
Flag burning 1 WEB
American Legion Post 307 member Nick Youdell, above, burns an American flag Monday during a retirement ceremony. - photo by Jim Dean

In a ceremony Monday night, members of American Legion Post 307 and Cub Scout Pack 8307 retired many of the nearly 400 flags collected at a local drop box.

The evening began with an introduction by Post Commander Geoff Toman before the Cub Scouts presented the flags to be inspected for burning.

The Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer by the chaplain were also said before proceeding with the ceremony, which was held outside the National Guard Armory on Canton Highway.

“The flag belongs to every American. We honor and respect it,” said Toman, who added that those wanting to harm America and its banner make it more important than ever to dispose of flags properly.

It was the first flag retirement ceremony for Cub Scout Armaan Anchala, 8.

He said it is important to dispose of the flags, which were burned in a barrel, rather than just throwing them away.

“It’ll get wasted if you don’t,” he said. “You don’t want it to end up in the dumps. That’s not a good place for it.”

Pack 8307’s Den Leader Tara Marcus said the group is sponsored by the Legion, but this was their first event together.

Assistant Scoutmaster Leonard Wilcox added, “We came to help out and let the boys experience [the ceremony] because I don’t think many of them have before.”

Toman said the post was “pleased to have them with us today” for the ceremony, which drew about 50 people.

He also added that it is important to teach children about flag ceremonies because they are not covered in schools.

Cub Scout Kieran Evans, 8, said he did not bring any flags to burn but was enjoying the ceremony.

“It represents the country and it shows respect,” he said.

According to Toman, the Legion empties the drop box every week.

“The response has been overwhelming,” he said. “Sometimes it gets overfull before we have a chance to empty it.”

Toman advised people with unserviceable flags to continue depositing them in the box at Fire Station 1.

“The ceremony is truly the best way to dispose of flags respectfully,” he said.