Student at Niles’ Notre Dame honors flags — by burning them
Daniel Pietrzyk, a senior at Notre Dame College Preperatory, decided to lead a flag-disposal campaign for his Eagle Scout project. | Contributed photo
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:17AM
Daniel Pietrzyk, a senior at Notre Dame College Preparatory school in Niles and a longtime Boy Scout, wanted to honor his country as he went for scouting’s top rank.
So when he recently went for Eagle Scout, he decided on a project to help retire old flags in a proper and honorable way: by burning them.
He collected flags through collection boxes at various local libraries and village halls. Then, Pietrzyk held a special flag burning ceremony for 300 flags at Notre Dame High School on Oct. 20.
Q: What did you do with old flags?
A: I took the brass rings off the edges and then they were folded up and given to Skaja Terrace Funeral Home and they were retired.
Q: Why was it important to you to preserve the flags?
A: I believe the flags should be respected because so many (people) have given their lives and given up so much for it. There’s a lot of history behind it. My dad personally was in the army in Poland. He explained how much the Polish flag meant to him. I see people disrespecting them unintentially.
Q: What clubs/groups are you involved in?
A: I’m in Troop 175. I’ve been in scouting since Cub Scouts, which is first or second grade. What I enjoy most is going on camping trips and getting to know everybody and having fun with other friends and actually having real life situations and learning how to tackle situations before you have to handle them.
Q: Are you involved in any other clubs?
A: I’m involved in the ultimate frisbee club, music club, debate team, and sci-fi club. I play tennis, I do swimming. After school, I snowboard and scuba dive.
Q: What qualities have you learned from scouting?
A: The 13 rules that scouts always follow. They have led me to become a better person and led me to see what faults I have to become better.
Q: What do you want to do after high school?
A: I know generally what I want to go into, which is aerospace engineering. My dad’s very involved in math and designing stuff at work. I’ve always been very interested in physics and how the world operates. The two seem to mesh pretty well in aerospace engineering.