Los Alamos Boy Scout James Cassel completed his Eagle Scout Project today, which is Flag Day 2019.
Cassel organized a retirement ceremony for more than 100 American flags. The ceremony took place at 10 a.m. at Los Alamos Fire Station #2 on DP Road.
Cassel collected the flags from local residents, with help from the Los Alamos Veterans of Foreign Wars who sponsored his Eagle Project. His liaison at the VFW was Ed McDaris. Cassel even had two gigantic flags from car dealerships to retire.
Retired flags that have become worn and frayed must be disposed of in a prescribed manner, most commonly by burning. Any remaining fragments and the metal grommets must be buried, Cassel said.
Cassel was inspired to do this project by his father Justin Cassel, a retired firefighter. He worked with Los Alamos Fire Department Battalion Chief James Thwaits to design a method for burning the flags in a safe manner, he said.
Cassel told the audience about some of the history of flag protocol and proper disposal. He read a poem honoring the flags for their service. The first flag was then placed in a barrel above a gas fire and a huge pile of approximately 100 flags also was set on fire in a metal crib above a large gas flame.
Cassel, who was born and raised in Los Alamos, has been involved with scouting since he was a 6-year-old Cub Scout. He is a member of Troop 122. His Scoutmaster, Greg Noeninckx, congratulated Cassel on successfully completing his project this morning at the close of the ceremony.
Cassel will begin his senior year at Los Alamos High School in the fall.