By Matt Kane
DELANO, MN Delano Boy Scout Troop 273 gave a honorable goodbye to Old Glory June 14 with the American Legion Post 377, and broke a world record while doing so.
The Scouts properly disposed of 408 American flags by way of fire, unofficially breaking the old record, which is believed to have been 304.
A dozen-or-so patriotic citizens attended the ceremony at the Legion, which began with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Scoutmaster Dave Potter explained the potential record and gave directions on how to honorably retire a flag. The Scouts in attendance explained the symbolism of all parts of the flag. And Legion member and Korean Veteran Dale Vander Linden gave a short speech that included an excerpt from the American Legion that describes the beginning of Flag Day in 1923.
The excerpt included the opening address by President Warren G. Harding, who said, “I hope you succeed in formulating a code that will be welcomed by all Americans and that every patriotic and educational society in the Republic will commit itself to the endorsement and observance and purpose of the code that you adopt here today.”
Flag Day was June 14, the day the Delano Boy Scouts retired 408 flags.
More recently, Retired Army General Patrick H. Brady, a Medal of Honor recipient for his heroism in Vietnam said, “Many Americans have raised their right hand and sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. We believe that all Americans who put their right hand over their heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance take that same oath. Both the oath and the pledge are taken in the presence of Old Glory to emphasize that our Flag is the symbol of our Constitution. We believe that we the people must exercise our right to rule by ensuring that the Court’s decision on flag-burning is not irrevocably fixed.”
The flag-burning portion of the Delano ceremony began with the retirement of 21 American flags in honor of the last 21 Minnesota servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.