The Canal Winchester Times

Scouts planning flag-retirement ceremony May 17


Groveport area residents are being offered the chance to properly retire their old American flags at a joint Boy Scouts, American Legion and city ceremony May 17.

City Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Lund is currently collecting torn and tattered American flags for the event from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Groveport Recreation Center, 7370 Groveport Road. The flags will be incinerated, as prescribed under federal law, at the flag-retirement ceremony.

The ceremony is free and open to the public at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at Groveport Park, adjacent to the recreation center at 7370 Groveport Road.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 71 will conduct the ceremony, with help from members of the American Legion and city police and firefighters, according to ceremony committee volunteer Diane Starkey.

"This year, we're working with the boys to take this ceremony on not just as a lesson about the flag, but also as a leadership opportunity where the boys themselves are soliciting help from the city and the Legion, organizing the event agenda and working out the details," Starkey said.

Besides the 100-150 flags collected by the troop since the last flag-retirement ceremony, the city has collected 20 flags and anticipates that some who attend the May 17 event might bring flags that evening for retirement.

"The ceremony is very educational, spiritual and patriotic," Lund said. "The Boy Scouts do an excellent job of communicating what the flag means and what it has been through over the years. People attending the event are also sometimes given the opportunity to participate in the retirement of flags as well."

According to Lund, past events have drawn upwards of 30 spectators, and he is hopeful that residents will turn out for this year's ceremony as well.

"It is a very well-run, formal event, and those that attend are always very thankful for the opportunity to have the flags retired in a dignified and respectful manner," he said. "Regardless of the numbers of people that attend, the event is always a success."

For more information about the event, or to drop off flags, contact Lund at the Groveport Recreation Center, 614-836-1000.