By Charlie Finnerty | [email protected]
16-year-old Eagle Scout Solomon Schneider of America Troop 139 is replacing old American flags for community members throughout Howard Beach, Woodhaven, Ozone Park and Glendale for his Eagle Scout project. Reaching out to community members primarily through Facebook, Schneider has worked with residents and business owners to collect old flags in preparation for a retirement ceremony October 29 at the Broad Channel American Legion Post 1404.
“I got the motivation from going down Cross Bay and Metropolitan and noticed people were hanging a lot of old flags,” Schneider said. “And the government has a lot of flags up that they didn’t take down once they were ripped or torn, leaving these flags that are torn on poles on the streets. They didn’t take them down so I thought we should replace it for them.”
Solomon’s father, Scoutmaster Jason Schneider, helped Solomon distribute fliers to the community advertising the project. Howard Beach resident Laura Riley, whose flag the Schneiders replaced, said she was moved by the patriotism of the project.
“I worked in public service for the US government for 32 years and for me it’s important to demonstrate pride in our country by flying an American flag on my house,” Riley said. “The scout project supports that pride.”
Riley was planning to replace her old flag soon and said she was glad for an opportunity to ensure the proper flag retirement ceremony. She also said she was inspired to see a member of a younger generation with national pride.
“It’s a very very good project they’re doing,” Riley said. “It’s nice to see young kids involved in patriotic things for their country.”
Schneider said difficulties emerged in funding the project and communicating the opportunity to the community.
“Funding was kinda hard, there were not a lot of people to fund it,” Schneider said. “Spreading the word was also hard. Most responses have come from social media.”
For more information, please call Jason Schneider at (917) 929-5438 or email [email protected].