ELMHURST – In his effort to attain Eagle Scout status, Elmhurst resident Christian Glosner is protecting an American emblem: the U.S. flag.
Glosner, a Boy Scout in Troop 82 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Elmhurst, wanted to respectfully retire an old flag his family had, and in the process of finding out how to do so, he found Elmhurst's American Legion post has a difficult time retiring all the flags it receives.
Bob Daniels, past commander of the post, said the American Legion receives about 450 pounds of flags annually, or hundreds of flags. As the American Legion members have aged, it is challenging to have them come out for a ceremony to retire flags, Daniels said.
"It takes a lot of pressure off of us," he said.
Glosner, 15, is a junior at York Community High School. He built and painted three wooden boxes with help from carpenter Jim Foley and a team of several Boy Scouts. He said he would like to collect for a year, but he hopes his troop will continue doing the service for the community after that.
The three boxes are in the lobby of Elmhurst City Hall, 209 N. York St; the lobby of the American Legion, 310 W. Butterfield Road; and the main entrance of the Elmhurst Public Library, 125 S. Prospect Ave. They have been stationed there since mid-September, and they have received more than 200 flags already, Glosner said.
"I think it's been a great success so far," he said.
The flags will be retired on monthly camping trips the troop takes. Retiring a flag includes cutting the flag into strips, holding a spoken ceremony, burning the flag and disposing of the ashes, Glosner said.