Nearly 2,500 worn and tattered American flags were honorably burned on Sunday, by the Boy Scouts, Young Marines, and Sea Cadets who collected them.
The flags were incinerated in two fire pits at the annual ceremony at the Unites States Naval Operations Support Center & Marine Corps Reserve facility in Perrysburg. After receiving approval to retire the flags, the group of young military students separated the stars and stripes, folded the flags, and then discarded them in the flames.
â??Once the blue field is separated, itâ??s no longer a flag,â?? said Navy Lt. John Nowakowski. He continued, â??We take the two biggest flags and cut them out as symbols of the entire lot.â??
Young Marines and Sea Cadets, who drill one weekend each month, walked away from the ceremony with a memorable experience.
â??It feels good because you know youâ??re doing a good thing for people that died fighting for the flag,â?? said Young Marine Robert Brushaber.
Sea Cadet Benjamin Jacks added, â??Weâ??re burning the flags here because they can no longer serve the purpose they were meant for, and thatâ??s showing American pride.â??
The ceremony is the second phase of Operation Respect. The flags were incinerated per the Federal Flag Code.