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News for Today—June 29, 2007

An interesting mix of stories today, starting with two Scout articles, followed by a military article, and finishing with a city government story.

Scouting teaches respect and more for the American flag, and these two boys are living proof. A short phrase in the article, “for the past three years” is the best part for me. This wasn’t something the Scouts took on short-term, but seriously took as their mission. Great lesson in Scouting!

Patriotic scouts fold their last flag at Palisades Elementary
scouts-care-for-flags.jpgIn his first year of cub scouting, Michael Easley learned what the colors and symbols on the American flag meant and how to respectfully fold it.

He passed the lesson on to his best friend, Tom Viggiano. Soon, it turned into something they both took to heart.

When they learned there was no routine in bringing in the flags each day at Palisades Elementary School, they asked former Principal Liz Wassom if they could do it.

“Its not just about taking down the flag,” Easley explained. “It’s respecting all of the people who had died for our country and everyone who lives in the United States.”

Scouting can have its fun side too. After carrying the U.S. Flag for the parade, several Scouts scurried back down the parade route to collect candy thrown during the celebration.
scouts-on-parade.jpg“It’s the first time I’ve ever been in a parade,” said Ryan Owens, 10, of Clive. “We were the ones who got to carry the American flag and the Boy Scouts flag.”

Ryan said he ran back to the middle of the parade with Nick Behrends, 10, so they could get candy, which was thrown in abundance.

“I don’t have a bag to hold the candy, but I got lots of pockets,” said Ryan, as the seams on his uniform strained from too much candy in his pockets. “We took a shortcut from the pool so we could get lots of candy.”

American flags are expected on military bases, but huge 30′ X 42′ flags are a rarity. If you are in the Fort Monroe area in a few weeks, this should be a great time. Stop by, then send us a report.

Fort Monroe to hoist huge flag
dailypress-huge-flag.jpgFORT MONROE — Fort Monroe has planned a July 9 dedication ceremony for 30×42-foot American flag that will be raised atop a 90-foot pole.

The ceremony will be open to the public with no admission charge. Identification and vehicle registration will be required to enter the military post, and a free shuttle will run from the parking area to the ceremony site. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

The flag will be raised across the channel at Fort Wool.

Good intentions with poor implementation sometimes results in a favorable action. What started as a clandestine operation is now an official city operation, with American flags lining Congers Road. It does add a certain something to the drive.

The story started a few weeks ago with this article on the city removing the flags because no one claimed them. The original city story said the flags violated a city sign ordinance, but now the city says they were removed for safety reasons. No matter, the U.S. flags are flying high in Clarkstown again, and at city expense.

Permanent display solves safety issue of Clarkstown flags
us-flags-line-road.jpgDiane Orativia noticed something different this week as she drove along Congers Road.

“Oh, I thought it was wonderful,” she said. “They’re beautiful.”

As more and more residents have been noticing the flags along the Lake DeForest causeway, they have been reacting to town officials’ decision to put them up.

“It was a very good idea,” Orativia said. “It stands for our country, and it’s a salute to our servicemen.”

Clarkstown officials put the new flags on display in response to an outcry from local residents when officials removed dozens of flags that were hung by a local resident.

Residents said town officials were being unpatriotic, but officials said the flags were removed for safety reasons and to avoid disrespect to the flag.

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