By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Boy Scout Jack Nguyen, member of Troop 114, is in the process of earning his Eagle Scout Award. As part of his award requirements, he chose to do a project to respectfully retire flags that he collected in town and from surrounding areas.
Last summer, he started gathering flags by setting up collection bins around town. He also offered to retire flags collected from the cemetery over the years, held in storage by the Shrewsbury Department of Parks, Recreation and Cemetery.
“The U.S. Flag Code states that when a flag has become worn out to point of where it is no longer suitable to represent our country, it must be retired in a solemn and respectful manner,” he explained.
In accordance with that code, burning flags is the preferred and most dignified method of flag disposal.
On June 2 at American Legion V.F. Picard Post #234 in Northborough, Nguyen held a Flag Retirement Ceremony to honorably dispose of the collected worn, weathered and torn flags. He was supported in his effort by several of his fellow Boy Scouts and their Scoutmaster Rick Spurr.
“I think this is great and it’s a very respectful way to address torn flags,” Spurr said. “I think a lot of people… have flags that they fly in front of their houses, and when they get torn and tattered don’t know what to do with them.”
The program included remarks by Gerard Bourque, member of the V.F. Picard Post, Adam Costello, veterans’ program coordinator for Easter Seals Massachusetts, and Shrewsbury Parks Director Angela Snell. The Star Spangled Banner was performed by Angie Rezuke, a member of the a cappella choir at Shrewsbury High School.