Old, tattered, faded or worn American flags? Do you know how to dispose of an American Flag when it is no longer in proper condition to fly? Not many people do.
Kyle Loughrey, who has been a Boy Scout with Scout Troop 824 for the past seven years, saw this as a very important community issue in Niagara County and made this the center of his Eagle Scout project.
Loughrey, a senior at Niagara-Wheatfield High School, came up with the idea for flag boxes when he noticed that his mom had a bunch of worn flags in plastic bags in one of the closets of his home. His mom told him that she had nowhere to take the flags but she knew not to just throw them out. She also knew the Boy Scout Troop 824 did a proper flag burning ceremony twice a year. So, she saved the flags for those times. Kyle figured that if his mom had nowhere to take the flags, other people might have the same problem, too. He came up with the idea for the American flag retirement boxes. "I wanted everyone to have a place to bring their worn flags for proper and honorable disposal," Loughrey said.
Kyle, with the help of his fellow Scouts, friends, and his dad, has designed and built three American flag retirement boxes. There is a creatively designed eagle on the top of each of the boxes. People will see the eagle and know that they have the right box to place their worn American flag in. Each box will be placed at three separate locations.
Boy Scout Troop 824 will be in charge of checking the boxes periodically, picking up the tattered flags and retiring the American flags in a respectful and honorable way by holding a flag burning ceremony.
People looking for a place to retire their flag can find Loughrey's boxes in three locations. One will be in Veterans Park, 7000 Lockport Road, near the Community Center. Two other boxes are located in the lobbies of Greater Niagara FCU.
"When I heard about Kyle's project, I knew that this would be another great way for us to give back to our community," said Jennifer Grier, a spokesperson for GNFCU. "With a branch at 2901 Military Road and 160 Ward Road, we knew that our locations are convenient for many local families to drop off their flags to be retired."
Retired flags can be dropped off during regular business hours at both GNFCU locations. Visit www.GreaterNiagaraFCU.com
for business hours, including Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
There are many people and businesses Loughrey thanked for support and help with their time, resources and donations, including Greater Niagara FCU; Town of Niagara Supervisor Lee Wallace; Scoutmasters Mark Gaynor and his wife, Kendra Gaynor; Vincent Montanari, Shawn Krauss and John Sebastian (metal art design, painting); Subway (Sanborn location); Papa Leos Pizza; Buzzy's Pizza; and Home Depot.
"And a big thank you to my fellow Troop 824 members and family. I know that without all of your knowledge, help, guidance and time, I would not have accomplished all that I did. I am very grateful," said Loughrey.