BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors from Trident Training Facility (TTF) Bangor laid to rest faded and torn flags during a flag retirement ceremony in honor of Flag Day, June 14, at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor's Deterrent Park.
The Sailors placed the flags into the fire and rendered a salute while the flags were honorably burned.
"Today was Flag Day, and we were lucky enough for it to fall on a day where we could get together with the other shipmates in the Pacific Northwest to retire these flags," said TTF Command Master Chief (SS) James Willis. "This is something a lot of these Sailors have never seen before, so I used this as an opportunity to instill a sense of heritage and camaraderie by rendering proper honors to old, unserviceable flags."
Title 4, U.S. Code, Chapter 1, Section 8, Paragraph k states: "The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."
The ceremony called for the stripes, which represent the original 13 colonies, and the field of blue, containing the 50 stars which represent each state, to be separated. The stripes and unions from the flags were placed in the fire separately while Willis read the names of the original colonies and then the names of the 50 states, respectively.
"This event is great because it helps us remember where we started - the original 13 colonies," said Chief Electrician's Mate Rocky Park, event organizer. "The ceremony itself gives us a glance back at a lot of the hardships and successes in becoming the United States of America."
According to Willis, the cermony was not only a great time to show respect to the flag, but was a moment to reflect on our service to the nation.
"I think the event was great. For me, it reset the tone of pride and respect for what we do for our nation, and it was great for junior Sailors to experience for the first time," said Willis.
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