A Flag burning ceremony
Bart M Voyce +1 201 386 4632 (bart@FUWUTAI.ATT.COM)
Fri, 26 Aug 1994 18:46:00 GMT
Each Memorial day, the church which sponsors our troop places flags on the
veterans in the cemetery. Just before our 4-day troop trip to Gettysburg
last weekend, the curator of the church gathered the weathered flags and
asked our troop to retire them.
The retirement ceremony was held on the last day of camp, after the troop
had toured, hiked and learned about the battle of Gettysburg. The flags
were placed around the campfire and a narration was read. Ken Griffin, a
member of the troop committee, wrote this narration:
-- begin narration --
"The civil war represents one of the most critical times in our history
as a nation. The freedom that Thomas Jefferson spoke of was not
available to all people. The people of the North said, "No person should
be bought and sold as Property." The people of the South were saying
that without the slave trade, it would not be possible to continue to grow
and harvest the cotton.
"As tension grew throughout the nation, Abraham Lincoln became the 16th
president of the United States. Lincoln hoped he would have the
opportunity to preserve the union, but this was never to be. The
Southern states, feeling that Lincoln would not be sympathetic to their
cause, began to succeed from the union.
"The official start of the Civil war came a few days later at the battle
of Fort Sumter. Many people in the North felt that the war would be over
in a few months, but as the Union forces began to lose the early battles
of the war, this optimism began to change.
"No one could have ever imagined that a tiny farming town called
Gettysburg would play such an important part in determining the outcome
of the war. The battle lasted for three days. Casualties were heavy on
both sides. When it was over, the Union army had held its ground and the
Southern forces had to retreat.
"President Lincoln was keenly aware of the loss of life on both sides.
It was this thought that prompted him to come to Gettysburg. He wanted
people to remember the sacrifices that were made during those three days
and what an injustice it would be if future generations were to forget
what happened there.
"When we look at the flag, may we always remember the great struggle that
took place during the Civil war. At the same time, may we remember those
who fought in different battles during other wars, fought in foreign
lands. Their sacrifices must always be remembered as they answered the
call to service and put it all on the line to preserve, protect and
defend freedom and democracy at home and around the world."
-- end narration --
After the narration, each scout was asked to pick up a flag, state what the
flag means to him, then place it in the fire.
The results were SPECTACULAR. There wasn't a dry eye in the bunch.
We were amazed at what each scout said. We didn't realize that the scouts
understood patriatism as they do. At times like this I'm glad to be a part
of this program.
Just thought I'd share this with you.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City