Veterans Retire American Flags

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Panama City Beach The United States celebrates Flag Day today, so one local veterans association honored the stars and stripes.

Veterans, JROTC members and Boy Scouts met at the Fleet Reserve Association today to retire about 120 American flags.

Organizers say the proper way to retire a flag is by burning it.

Flags are retired when they become unserviceable from wear and tear or being torn or faded.

These flags came from all over Bay County, including one dozens of feet long from Gulf Coast State College.

You can also retire a flag by burying it, but organizers say it's preferable to burn it.

"It's just the way it's always been," Skip Lawson, the 346 Fleet Association President, said. "It has to be done in a respectful way. You don't want to throw it in a trashcan. That's just not right."

Lawson served in the Navy for more than eight years.

He says it's important to connect veterans with groups like JROTC and the Boy Scouts because they could be future leaders in the military.

The Fleet Reserve has retired flags each year on flag day for about 35 years now.

Lawson says he hopes the tradition of working with JROTC and Boy Scouts continues.