Under the stars of a clear and cool Saturday night, the Cub Scouts of Honey Brook Pack 9 stood silently in front of a small campfire. The boys, whose ages range from 7-11, performed a flag retirement ceremony during their annual Winter Campout at Horseshoe Scout Res-ervation's Camp Ware. At the ceremony, some 25 American Flags from the classrooms of Honey Brook Elemen-tary Center, where many of the Scouts attend school, were retired.
As the solemn ceremony began, Cub Mas-ter Andrejs Lizins explained the dignified traditions that were about to take place. He noted that when the flag is in such condition, through wear or damage, that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner befitting such a symbol.
The traditional way is to cut the flag into pieces and burn it in a modest but blazing fire. Lizins continued by quoting George Wash-ington, "We take the stars from heaven and the red from our mother country. We separate the red by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty."
Then each Cub retired one flag, separating the field of stars from the stripes and gently resting the remnants over the flame of the modest campfire. As the fire consumed the flags, some Scouts saluted while others could be heard whispering the Pledge of Allegiance.
As the ceremony reached its conclusion, the boys exited the fire circle silently. Having performed a civic duty, they each took another step in their development into young men.
Pack 9 is sponsored by the Honey Brook Lions Club and meets at Honey Brook Elementary.