Columbiana receives special gift

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

The men and women of Columbiana’s American Legion want to ensure that generations to come are educated on how to respectfully retire our nation’s most revered symbol.

While they are an organization whose main goal is to help veterans that have served our country, they also work to make provisions for their community wherever provisions are needed.

Their most recent project filled a great need that will also serve to educate community members of all ages, but especially those that become members of the local troop of the Boy Scouts of America.
Sam Horton, post commander of American Legion Post 131, commissioned a special wooden collection box to be made specifically for the collection of American flags that are ready for retirement.

The American Legion then gifted this box to the city of Columbiana in a ceremony with several members, Troop 560 Boy Scout Master Earnest Poe and Mayor Stancil Handley.

This box will be located inside Columbiana’s City Hall and will be available to anyone seeking to retire an American flag.

The flags will be collected inside throughout the year and will be respectfully retired by local Boy Scouts trained in respectful flag etiquette on the town’s patriotic celebration of Liberty Day each June.

“The city is very happy to have the Legion collaborate with the Boy Scouts to provide the service for our city and surrounding areas,” Handley said. “Many of our citizens want to dispose of their older flags properly but do not have the knowledge of where and how. Our flag is much too precious to wind up in the garbage or a landfill. I’m thrilled this resource is now available!”

The Boy Scouts, who will be under the watchful eye of their scout leaders during the retirement ceremony each year, will also earn community service hours for their participation in this project as well as a valuable lifelong skill they will be able to share with others.

Poe said that while the scouts have always offered this service to the community, having a common place to collect the flags is a big benefit to the town.

“There is a specific process to retiring an American flag, and this gift will make sure the flags are honorably stored until the boy scouts are able to retire them,” he said.

If you are interested in either of these organizations, contact Sam Horton at (205) 572-2115 for the American Legion Post 131 or Earnest Poe at (205) 216-8828 for Columbiana Boy Scout Troop 560.