On the last Monday of this month this nation will celebrate Memorial Day.
I was born in this country in 1995. My parents and siblings moved here from Canada in 1992, which happened to be the Bicentennial year for the city of Russellville. The first and lasting impression for my family was the multitude of American flags that were displayed throughout this county at that time. For them it was a fantastic showing of unity and pride that was obviously felt by the people who lived in this country. Unfortunately, when we travel through the town these days it is not unusual to see an empty flag pole or worse: a faded, frayed or torn flag sagging from a rusty pole.
As a member of a Boy Scout troop, I can assure you that Scouts are taught to treat the flag with great respect because of what it represents.
Many, if not most of you, know the basics like how to salute the flag, or say the Pledge of Allegiance.
However, it’s obvious to me and others that some do not know the correct way to fly it.
For certain, it should never be flown in anything but pristine condition.
The time is quickly approaching when we will remember those who fought and gave their lives to defend the freedoms that we all enjoy. Perhaps we can show our appreciation for their great sacrifices by inspecting our flags, and replacing the ones that are in disrepair, torn and faded. It seems like a small price to pay for our thanks.
Furthermore, after you hang your new flag, the old flag must be retired properly in a respectful way, not just thrown away with the trash. The local Boy Scout troop sometimes has flag retirements and there may be other civic organizations that do as well.
During the month of May, I would be glad to collect the old flags and make sure their retirement appropriate. You can drop them off at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at Sixth and Winter St., which is across from the library. There will be a box outside the parish center marked for this purpose. Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter and may Old Glory fly high and proud from every pole!
Eagle Scout, Troop 123