1. #1
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    Thumbs up Brought to you courtesy of the Red White and Blue...

    A salute to Danvers red, white and true blue citizens

    By Jamie Jamieson

    Staff writer


    DANVERS -- Sometimes a simple idea turns out to be much more complicated than first believed. That was exactly the case when the Danvers chapter of the American Legion decided to follow the lead of national headquarters, and conduct a flag census in town.

    What a great idea, the veterans thought, to honor each homeowner who thoughtfully displayed the flag. The Legion hoped to salute their patriotism with a letter of thanks or a certificate. And to make it all easier, Boy Scout Troop 67 offered to count the flags for the Legion.

    What sounded like a simple idea turned out to be a monumental task because so many homeowners in Danvers -- 20 percent, in fact -- were displaying the red, white and blue.

    "It was just this astronomical number," laughed troop leader Mike Powers.

    "They're really everywhere you go," said Boy Scout Stephen Gutz.

    "It took me two days. The first day I got car sick somewhere along Locust Street," Scout Adam Hedio said.

    About 15 Scouts and their parents participated, taking shifts over the weekend before Flag Day last June. They took a map of the town and divided it into sectors, explained Assistant Scoutmaster Tom Maniscalco.

    By the end of the weekend, the Boy Scouts had documented flags displayed at 1,332 homes in Danvers, more than 20 percent of the homes in town.

    There were so many flags on his route, said John Dumais, "My dad couldn't believe it."

    Officials from the Legion's national headquarters were also impressed. The national group provides certificates for local chapters like Drapeau-McPhetres Post No. 180 to award to people who regularly display the flag. Hearing that more than 20 percent of the homes in Danvers displayed the flag delighted Mike Buss, assistant director of the Legion's Americanism and Children and Youth Division, which promotes education about flag etiquette.

    "That's great," Buss said. "From the national organization, we certainly appreciate the patriotism of those individuals."

    The boys were especially impressed by Centre Street, which looked like a hall of flags. People had flags flying on poles, flags on the side of their homes, flag plaques, paper flags cut out of the newspaper taped to their windows, flag decals. One family even had a bench painted like a flag.

    Once they started to look, reported Boy Scout Ross Billings, the boys started to see flags everywhere. They loved the town's flag, one of the largest on the North Shore, which flutters in Danvers Square even at night under illumination.

    The Legionnaires were delighted, said Frank Cavanaugh, who shared the story with the Salem News. But they were also daunted. The national American Legion suggested local chapters give out citations. But that would cost $3 each -- more than $3,000. Perhaps more daunting would be the job of translating all those addresses on all those scraps of paper into names.

    After typing up the list, it took the veterans months to decide what to do. The Legion realized they couldn't contact so many people on their own. But the Salem News is helping to recognize the town's patriotism by publishing on our Web site the list of addresses where the Boy Scouts found Old Glory displayed that weekend.

    "Thank you for your visible show of support for our troops," said Larry McBeth, Senior Vice Commander of Post 180, to all the homeowners who took the time to hoist a flag. "And also a big thank you and a job well done to the Boy Scouts who participated."
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up

    Well, at least all the news isn't bad!! Now if we can catch a few more firefighters changing tires or other out-of-the-ordinary stories, we'll be doing well!
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  3. #3
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    Let me get this straight. The boyscouts in Danvers, collectively, had trouble counting to 1300?

    Relax folks, its a joke. I too am glad to see folks flying the flag.
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

    IACOJ

  4. #4
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    Duff, the problem is they had to assemble 130 kids to use all of their fingers! Me, I would have thought to use fingers AND toes to make the job of counting so much easier! They didn't ask for my input though
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

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