Scouts, veterans give flags a fitting retirement in Medina

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Scouts and veterans saluted and recited the Pledge of Allegiance before a flag burning ceremony at the Conservation Club.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 4 August 2022 at 8:42 am

MEDINA – A flag burning ceremony delayed from Flag Day on June 14 because of rain was rescheduled for Wednesday night at the Conservation Club in Medina.

Boy Scout Nicholas Reese and his father, Scout leader Michael Reese, and Webelos Scout Savannah Schroth, 10, joined Glenn Whitmore (commander), David Kusmierczak, David Higgins, Peter Huth, Cathy Fox and Carol Callina from the Butts-Clark American Legion Post for the ceremony.

Scout leader Michael Reese walks a flag up to burn barrel for proper disposal.

Nicholas began by reading the meaning of the red and white stripes and stars on the flag, while his father “retired” a piece of flag. The red stripes symbolize courage and the blood shed for the country, while the white stripes stand for purity and innocence. The stars represent the 13 original colonies.

The veterans and Boy Scouts hold a flag burning ceremony twice a year, usually on Flag Day in June and after Veterans Day when they have removed the flags from cemeteries.

Flags are collected throughout the year in Medina at the American Legion on South Main Street, VFW on East Center Street, Generations Bank on Maple Ridge Road and the Veterans’ Services Office in Albion and Ace Hardware in Medina and Albion.

Black smoke billows from a burn barrel during Wednesday’s flag burning ceremony.

The collection of flags on Wednesday included a Canadian flag and a POW flag, something the veterans had not seen before at the flag retirement ceremony.

This was the first ceremony Savannah Schroth, 10, of Medina had witnessed. Her mother Kristina Schroth said her siblings and Savannah’s older brother all served in the military, so honoring the flag was important to them.

“This was a good thing for Savannah to watch,” her mother said.

Carol Callina, formerly Prawel, has become an active member of the Butts-Clark American Legion since joining last October. She had met Legion commander Glenn Whitmore, a Navy veteran, at the YMCA and he encouraged her to join. Callina served in the Navy and spent 40 years as an immigration officer before returning to Medina last fall.

From left, Carol Callina, Cathy Fox and Michael Reese place flags in a barrel to burn during Wednesday’s flag burning ceremony at the Conservation Club.

Scouts from Troop 35 and local veterans teamed up Wednesday night for a flag burning ceremony at the Conservation Club on Bates Road. From left are Cathy Fox, American Legion Auxiliary; Carol Callina, Glenn Whitmore, Dave Kusmierczak and Peter Huth, Butts-Clark American Legion Post; Webelos Scout Savannah Schroth; David Higgins, American Legion; Boy Scout Nicholas Reese and his father Michael Reese, Scout leader.