Pack, Troop and Crew 258 of Tecumseh Council, Boy Scouts of America, is inviting the general public to a Mass Flag Retirement Ceremony for U.S. Flags on Sept. 11, 2021.
This ceremony will be held at Freedom Grove in Urbana, gathering at 4:30 p.m. and ceremony beginning at 5 p.m.. Building upon a tradition started when Freedom Grove’s World Trade Center Beam arrived, the Scouts of Champaign County have gathered every year to honor the memory of those lost on 9/11. With 2021 being the 20th anniversary of this tragic event, the Scouts of 258 would like to invite anyone who is interested to come and observe this solemn occasion with us.
United States Flag Code states: “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” The Boy Scouts of America is one of several organizations that is frequently asked to complete this task. Scouts are honored to be entrusted with such an important ceremony.
The ceremony at Freedom Grove will involve Scouts retiring worn out American flags by burning them until there is nothing left recognizable as a flag. At the end, the only thing that will be left are the flag grommets, lying within the ashes. The flags that will be retired are American flags that are well worn and no longer fitting for display. Some examples of worn out flags include: severe color fading, stains, holes in the fabric, shredded stripes, rips, and tears. If anyone has a flag that meets this criteria, the Scouts request you bring it out to Freedom Grove to be retired.
The Scouts will also be, in partnership with local Veterans and Civic groups, changing out flags at Freedom Grove, as well as conducting a flag raising at dusk, when flags are to return to full staff. In addition, there will be a general memorial for all of the victims of 9/11 at the conclusion of the retirement ceremony.
While the public is invited, no one is obligated to stay for the entirety of the ceremony. Anyone can come and go as they see fit, the Scouts simply ask anyone attending to remain respectful during the ceremony. If anyone simply wants to drop off a flag for retirement, that is welcomed as well. Pack, Troop and Crew 258 also is asking for any Scouts who wish to participate to wear their best uniforms and arrive by 4:30 p.m. Due to Covid recommendations, all participants and viewers are encouraged to wear masks or social distance as best they can if they are not vaccinated.
Any questions or requests for information about Scouting, can be messaged to the “BSA Troop 258 Concord Methodist Church” Facebook page or emailed to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Troop and Crew 258 are two Scout units for young men and women, ages 11 through 18, and 14 through 20. Pack 258 is for boys and girls between ages 5 through 10. Scouting is an important part of the community, and this memorial event is just one of many different community service events put on by Scouts.
Information from Sam Molton