Eagle Scout project sees flag retirement center built

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

PELHAM – For his Eagle Scout project, Shawn Winn spent a considerable amount of time constructing a flag retirement center located at Pelham Cemetery.

On June 14, which is also Flag Day, he gathered friends, family and community leaders for a flag retirement ceremony to show how to retire American flags with dignity.

At the event, Winn presented the retirement center to Pelham Mayor Gary Waters and the city, and explained to the crowd why it was so important for him to do this.

“I have built with the help of many, this flag retirement center. Today we celebrate Flag Day with a retirement ceremony as a symbol of our freedom,” Winn said. “The flags we retire here today have served us well, but due to their condition they are no long suitable for display. A fresh new flag now flies in their placements to carry on the honor and dignity of ‘Old Glory.’”

During the service several service members and re-enactors explained the meaning of the flag through the soldiers’ point of view from different wars throughout history.

A real canon was brought to the ceremony and fired as part of the ceremony. At the end, Winn was actually invited to fire the cannon as a gift for the service he provided to the community.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, past and present military members, scouts and the community were invited to participate in respectfully retiring a flag. They were given bits of the flag and dutifully placed them in the center where a fire had been built to retire the flag.

For Winn, the ceremony was a solemn reminder of the meaning of service and sacrifice. He completed his Eagle Scout project to show respect and appreciation for not only the flag, but for those who have defended it.