White County Girl Scout troop retires American flag

Posted By | June 17, 2002 12:00 am

Dawn Bailey
The Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley Service Unit 132 received the honor of retiring a U.S. flag on the afternoon of June 13, 2002, while attending a day camp called Camp Campsalot. The troop participated in many other activities, but the ceremony surrounding Old Glory was an emotional experience for several participants.
The flag was stretched over a table while the cadets cut out each individual star, leaving the blue intact as one piece. The stripes were cut out and carefully placed onto another cadet’s arms and the stars were gathered. As the flag was being readied for retirement, a fire was prepared for the ritual. Stars and stripes were handed out to each Girl Scout and Brownie as they lined up and participated in the ceremony.
Jamie Ross told how the U.S. flag is more than just some brightly colored cloth, and it is a symbol of our nation. Alexis Poteet explained how the seven red stripes and six white stripes, together represent the original 13 colonies that gained us liberty. The red stripes remind us of the lifeblood of brave men and women who were ready to die for (this) their country.
“The white stripes remind us of purity and cleanliness of purpose, thought, word and deed. The blue is for truth and justice, like the eternal blue of the star-filled heavens,” said Sara Vidrine.
The stars represent the 50 sovereign states of our nation. The American Creed states. “It is my duty to my country to love it, to respect its constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag and to defend it against all enemies,” said Leah Thomas.
Ross spoke again and said, “The U.S. flag should be treated with respect when it is flying, and should be treated with respect when it is being retired.”
Rachel said, “Therefore, we retire flags with dignity and respect when they become worn, torn, faded or badly soiled. A flag ceases to be a flag when it is cut into pieces. We separate the 13 stripes that represent the original 13 colonies and the 50 stars to pay homage to the 50 states that together make up this great nation.”
The Junior Scouts walked forward with their stripe and placed it over a stick that Peggy Mattson and Debbie Zimmerman held out to them. As they placed the stripe onto the stick they recited what each stripe represented.
“The 13 stripes stand for the 13 original colonies,” said Julia Maynard.
“The white stands for purity,” said Jessica Stanage as she handed the second stripe to Peggy and Debbie.
As the third stripe was presented, Fallon Price said, “The red stands for courage.”
“Give me liberty or give me death,” said Amber Sigler, handing over the fourth stripe.
“One if by land, two if by sea,”
said Logan Sparkman, who held the fifth stripe.
For the sixth stripe, Dara Close said, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”
Terra Breedlove, who held the seventh stripe, said, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” said Chelsea Duke, as she handed over the eighth stripe to be retired.
Holding the ninth stripe, Alex Reagan said, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech of press.”
“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” said Jennifer Austin, as she embraced the 10th stripe.
Meagon James, bearer of the 11th stripe, said, “One nation under God.”
“Ask not! What your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” said Logan Hodge in regard to the 12th stripe.
As the 13th stripe was retired, Hodge also stated, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The Brownie Scouts, which included Miranda Davis, Ashlee Marcum, Taylor Marcum, Lindsey McCulley, Ginger Pippin, Katrina Poteet, Amanda Sigler, Kaylee Snodgrass, Alexandra Stover and Page Winningham were lined up beside the Juniors, and one girl at a time brought a star which had been cut off
the blue field and handed it to Mattson. As the star was thrown into the fire, the name of each state it represented was identified.
When the last star was placed into the fire, Zimmerman placed the eternal blue field into the flames. The U.S. flag was now retired.

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