FLAG RETIREMENT: Scouts, Veterans pay respect to ‘Old Glory’

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

RESERVE — Enrique Dantin said maintaining his focus was important as he meticulously (and properly) ripped up an American Flag Saturday morning.

The veteran Troop 406 Boy Scout member was demonstrating the correct way to retire a flag, adding he was a little nervous because he was doing so in front of fellow Scouts, active military personnel, numerous Veterans and dozens of family, friends and supporters.

Dantin, 14, who has been in Scouting for eight years, performed the honor perfectly, completing his role in the second annual flag ceremony spearheaded by American Legion Post 383 and sergeant-at-arms Benny Robichaux.

Eagle Scout Julian Bordelon retires a flag in the proper fashion Saturday by placing it in a burn barrel.

“It’s a big responsibility, especially to show all the veterans that we respect our flag and thank them for their service,” Dantin said. “They have made the sacrifice to fight for us and protect the freedoms and rights we have. I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to the Veterans and the people who are continuing to fight now.”

Community commitment is nothing new to Dantin, of LaPlace, who began as a Tiger Cub in 2009 and is pursuing Eagle Scout status.

“My goal is make Eagle, hopefully before this summer ends,” Dantin said. “It’s a big goal to me. It’s going to be a big thing if I make Eagle.”

Robichaux said he hoped those who attended Saturday’s ceremony at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home in Reserve took away a renewed sense of respect and reverence for Old Glory.

“The American Legion will be coming to the schools next year and maybe we’ll have a pop quiz and give (the young people who attended) a chance to win some school supplies,” Robichaux said.

Throughout the ceremony, Robichaux stressed the American Flag must never be casually thrown away.

“It’s not a good thing to try and do yourself,” he said. “Give it to the Boys Scouts and they will take care of it.”

Boy Scout Troop 406 and 312 members were joined Saturday by Cub Scout Troop 318 as they took possession of a dozen flags, including one from the Veterans Home.

Eagle Scout Julian Bordelon, 20, said it’s a serious thing to honor and retire the flag in the proper fashion, evidenced by Bordelon’s role of placing the retired flag pieces, stripe by stripe, into the designated burn barrel.

It was an experience Scouting made possible.

“It’s a very good program that not very many boys get to be a part of,” Bordelon said. “You get to do a lot of things, like retire the flag, that a lot of people aren’t allowed to do or don’t have the opportunity to do. It’s a great opportunity overall.

“It does give you sense of patriotism and respect when honoring your country.”