Zack Friedmann knows that experience, and for him, the recurring item was flags – American flags.
“I kept seeing flags wherever I went, all around town,” said Zack, 14. “I kept seeing these old flags that needed to be retired and were basically left in tatters hanging on flagpoles. I thought I should probably do something about retiring them, or at least educating people about how to retire them.”
He ended up doing both. Last November, as part of his Eagle Scout project, Zack set up a collection box for worn American flags outside Brentwood Veterans Hall. His original hope – to attract at least a few worn-out flags for retirement – has been exceeded beyond expectation. At last count, more than 200 old flags have found their way into the collection box.
“The response has been very, very nice,” he said. “People have really responded.”
This Sunday, June 14, Flag Day, Zack’s project will culminate with a flag retirement ceremony at Camp Fetterman in Knightsen.
“Anyone can come out to this,” said Zack, who organized the event. “It’s open to the public and I know that other Scout troops are coming out with their flags to be retired as well. This is a nice way to retire the flags, because only someone in the military or a Boy Scout can officially retire a flag.”
According to Zack, the ceremony will take place around a fire pit at the campsite. Each flag – in some cases, a few at a time – will be saluted, the Pledge of Allegiance will be recited, and the flags will be placed into the fire.
The whole event will take just a few hours, but for the Liberty High School freshman, the afternoon will be both a source of pride and relief. “It’s been a big project for me,” said Zack, whose father Chris was an Eagle Scout. “It’s been a lot of fun, but a lot of work, too. It’ll be a big burden to have this off my shoulders, but I’m very proud to have been able to do this.”
The flag retirement ceremony will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. on June 14 at Camp Fetterman, 2755 Crystal Lane.