Flag Retirement Ceremony

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Flag Retirement Ceremony

Members of the Buena JROTC respectfully retire our beloved flag.

Members of the Buena JROTC respectfully retire our beloved flag.

Members of the Buena JROTC respectfully retire our beloved flag.

Members of the Buena JROTC respectfully retire our beloved flag.

Laila Avery, Reporter

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The faint smell of smoke fills the air under the beautifully chill Friday night sky at Buena High School. Two fires stand outside with lines of JROTC students, volunteers, and military members waiting to grab a flag from the stacks and cast them into the fire. Spectators sit peacefully to the side, watching the smoke ascend.

 

The few people–volunteers accompanied with two JROTC students, walk with perfect posture up to the fire and the volunteer places the flag into the fire.

 

“Present arms!”

 

They salute.

 

“Order arms!”

 

Their hands return to their sides, and they proceed to walk back. The same scenario repeats until all of the flags are gone, while dignifying and inspirational melodies carry through the air in the background.

I asked Shannon Wise, a spectator, why she thought it was important to attend the ceremony. She said, “My daughter was part of JROTC for four years and it’s just a big family, and that’s the proper way to retire a flag. They put on a really good ceremony every year.”

I also asked the junior Antonio Gonzalez-Miller, a JROTC student, what the ceremony was. He said, “This ceremony was about the retiring of the United States flags that have been worn out due to overuse and worn out due to being served the proper way that they should be served, and that is serving their country.” Additionally, I asked him why it was significant to him. He said, “It’s significant to me because, me personally, I would love to join the Air Force. I will join the Air Force, and I think that many people take for granted what the flag truly means. It is a symbol of freedom. No other country has it.” He continued to explain that it was an amazing ceremony to be a part of, and I definitely agree. With those smoky plumes rising up, a greater sense of national pride definitely came with it.