ARLINGTON — The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum’s latest commemoration of Flag Day on Friday, June 14, drew a younger crowd than many regular attendees could ever remember seeing at the annual event.
Local Boy Scouts were joined by a lone Girl Scout in taking part in the afternoon ceremony outside of the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Hall, during which unserviceable American flags were folded up reverently and placed in a fire, in accordance with U.S. Flag Code, to dispose of them properly.
Robert Dyson, one of many members of Arlington Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1561 who were present, told the ceremony’s assembled attendees that seeing the flags retired “reminds me of what we’ve fought for as a nation, and what our men and women in uniform are still fighting for today. We need not to forget what it represents.”
Donald Janda, one of the local Boy Scouts who took part in the ceremony, echoed Dyson’s sentiments.
“For me and all of us, I think, this is a way of showing our appreciation for our country and all that it stands for,” Janda said. “It’s important to show it honor.”
Anjie Munsee was the proud mom of Girl Scout Megan Munsee, 6, and Pack 92 Cub Scout Andrew Munsee, who turns 8 in July. Both of the Munsee children were guided by older Scouts to keep them safe as they deposited their flags in the fire, and Anjie was reminded of another of her kids by the ceremony.
“I have a stepson in the Air Force who’s serving in Afghanistan right now,” Anjie Munsee said. “I think this is just phenomenal. My little ones were a bit nervous about this, but I told them they could do it.”
“It’s always pleasant to be able to recognize our nation through its symbols, especially when those carrying out the ceremony are as dedicated as these kids,” said retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Mike Blue, of the Arlington High School Air Force Junior ROTC program, who’s also a member of Post 1561. “Today, we had the VFW, the Auxiliary, the Boy Scouts and the Pioneer Hall all coming together. It’s not any one of us that put this together. It’s a group show.”
J.Y. “Dyc” Dycus, a Navy veteran of World War II and a frequent presence at the Pioneer Hall, couldn’t recall having attended any of its previous Flag Day ceremonies, but approved of this year’s event.
“It’s nice to educate the little kids on how to honor the flag and why,” Dycus said. “It’s also good just to get out and meet people.”
Marty Rausch, who serves as a caretaker of the Pioneer Museum, always enjoys seeing young people take part in the Flag Day ceremonies at the Pioneer Hall.
“It’s the first time we’ve had this many young ones here for it,” said Rausch, who also credited Arlington American Legion Post 76 with its role in making Flag Day at the Pioneer Hall possible. “I think children add a great deal to the ceremony, which is why we’ve been glad to get the Sea Cadets and the JROTC to come out here for this over the years. I have to say, I think this was one of the best-produced ceremonies we’ve ever had, even with the disadvantage of the construction on 67th Avenue.”