Scouts assist Vietnam veterans with flag retirement

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Members of West Jefferson Boy Scout Troop 121 unload worn and torn flags for disposal in a flag burning ceremony hosted by Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 746 on Oct. 27 at Madison Lake in London: (from left) Jayce Moses, Clayric Speakman and Wesley Miller.

(Posted Nov. 5, 2019)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

On Oct. 27, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 746 (VVA) hosted a ceremony during which approximately 1,000 American flags were burned. The ceremony took place at Amvets Post 19 at Madison Lake in London.

“It took about 60 minutes to burn them all,” said Dave Cunningham, VVA Chapter 746 commander.

Throughout the year, chapter members collect worn and torn flags from members of the community, schools, the Madison County courthouse, veterans monuments and grave markers. Once a year, they burn what they collect, following protocol outlined in the American Legion’s “Ceremony for Disposal of Unserviceable Flags.”

The chapter welcomes help with the ceremony from local Scout troops.

“We like to get the Scouts involved. They get credit for the ceremony, because they actually put the majority of the flags in the fire. It matters to me that the flags are disposed of properly,” said Cunningham who established the local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 20 years ago.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 121 of West Jefferson and one member of Grove City Girl Scout Troop 5925 participated in this year’s ceremony.

Vietnam Veterans Chapter 746 has coordinated a flag burning ceremony each of the last four years. The chapter also donates new flags to schools and other organizations.

Members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 746 used an old fuel tank with its top cut out to burn worn and torn American flags. They filled the tank with wood. Local Boy Scouts and a Girl Scout helped to dispose of the flags in a special ceremony.

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