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That wasn't our flag retirement ceremony

I am Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 53 in Waxhaw.

Our pack co-hosted a Flag Retirement Ceremony with the local American Legion Post 208 on September 11, at the Museum of the Waxhaws. We invited all news media, including The Charlotte Observer, to attend and publish a public interest story on the “proper” procedure for conducting a United States flag retirement ceremony. We hoped it could serve as an inspirational story on such an important patriotic day in American history and an educational tool on a widely misunderstood subject.

Not one news agency showed up to document our event. Instead, to our dismay, The Charlotte Observer published a file photo announcing our event in the Sept. 11 edition of “Your Week in Union County.” The file photo was captioned as “Respectful Retirement.”

It depicted a pile of folded American flags burning in what looked like a dumpster. We agree with the many agitated phone calls, messages and comments we received.

Although we appreciate the intent of publicizing our event, we regret the ridicule the photo brought on our organizations. On behalf of Cub Scout Pack 53, the American Legion Post 208, and the Museum of the Waxhaws, we would like to claim no connection to the photo.

The purpose of our flag retirement ceremony was to highlight the proper procedure (for disposing of a flag). The program was a well-scripted formal ceremony that included the National Anthem, The American Legion Post Color Guard, a gun salute and taps played during the ceremony. The ceremony included invitations for veterans, families of military service, and scouts to come forward to honorably and individually place a properly folded American flag on one of three small fires with the reverence and solemnity the flag deserves. Anyone attending would have realized that we did indeed fulfill the honorable and dignified procedures for retiring a flag.

One of the stated purposes of Cub Scouting is to instill good citizenship. We co-hosted this public ceremony to demonstrate our boys' commitment and dedication to good citizenship and our community.Pack 53 meets Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. during the school year and offers group activities like hikes, swim parties and movie nights during summer months. Our meetings are at Waxhaw United Methodist Church, 200 McDonald Street, Waxhaw. Our website is http://www.waxhaw

Bret Martin

Cubmaster, Cub Scout Pack 53 – Waxhaw

Editor's note: The photograph that appeared in Thursday's “Your Week in Union County” should have made clear that it was a file picture from a previous flag retirement ceremony by a municipal fire department outside Union County and a historical society. The flags in that picture were burned on a platform. That ceremony was not like the one carried out Thursday night by Cub Scout Pack 53 of Waxhaw.

APFO withstands challenge

Editor's note: T he author is a former Union County Commissioner and Weddington Town Council Member.

The single most important, broad based, and comprehensive ordinance in Union County history, the adequate public facilities ordinance, was successfully defended before Superior Court Judge Chris Collier on Aug. 21 by attorneys Ligon Bundy and Mark White.

All 14 municipalities were represented on the task force charged with crafting this ordinance, along with county staff, managers, attorneys, stakeholders and consultant. (The process) took 25,000 hours of grass-roots input.

The homebuilders were formally invited on three different occasions to participate in crafting this ordinance…The APFO is a fair ordinance for everyone, and puts the needs of the county above private and special interest groups, including developers and homebuilders.

The Union County Public School System is the biggest beneficiary, with the APFO limiting residential development within already overcrowded school districts...

Recklessly building subdivision after subdivision for years while sticking the costs of school construction and infrastructure on the backs of the property owners and taxpayers was business as usual. Special interest groups, primarily developers and homebuilders, have stuffed the campaign coffers of their chosen candidates to continue the status quo…

The APFO puts the responsibility of building in an already overcrowded school district squarely where it should be, and that's with those who are profiting at the expense of us all.

Hughie Sexton