Rain doesn’t stop state

MARSHALL – During the first day of the week-long Boys State session at Southwest Minnesota State University on Monday, the Anoka County American Legion Voiture 390 Ritual Team performed a flag retirement ceremony. The Ritual Team also contains members of the Forty & Eights, a veterans organization named after the capacity signs on French box cars that transported troops to the front in WWI.

“We’re supposed to be the fun and elite group,” said member Bud Redepenning. “The founders thought the Legion was too straight laced.”

The group performs flag retirement ceremonies all over the state, said member Bob Locker.

“We go to local legion posts, senior centers and schools. We recently went to a Boy Scout Jamboree at Camp Ripley.”

The Ritual Team also performed a flag folding demonstration for the Boys State participants, explaining what each fold of the flag meant and how to properly display a folded flag.

Because of the rain Monday afternoon, the ceremony was held inside, and the retired flags will have to wait for another ceremony to be disposed of by burning.

After the ceremony, the junior-aged boys went off to participate in athletic activities, but Michael Larson of Marshall and Logan Kluis of Chandler, both “City of Duluth” delegates, had a few minutes to talk about their experience at Boys State so far.

Kluis said he is most looking forward to “meeting new people.”

Larson said he was looking forward to “campaigning. It’ll be interesting to see how we put everything together.”

“Just about everyone is running for a city office position,” said Kluis. “I’m running for city council member.”

“And I’m running for mayor,” said Larson.

The city elections were to be held Monday evening, so the Boys State participants can start getting a feel for local government right away. Legislature and county offices will be voted on Wednesday evening, and state officers will be elected Friday morning.