Vinton, VA - In Roanoke County, there was a ceremony to dispose of unserviceable U.S. flags as the William Byrd ROTC program hosted their annual Veterans Day observation.
The cadets invited more than two dozen local veterans to the ceremony which included famed World War Two fighter pilot Bill Overstreet and a D-Day veteran from Bedford Mill Hobbs.
The cadets use Veterans Day to properly retire unserviceable flags that have been gathered throughout the year.
"When I first started the program a lot of the kids were like that, 'You're going to burn the flags?'. And I said, 'Well, there's a difference burning the flag and waving it in defiance than the proper way to dispose of a retired flag. Burning is the most accepted method. So it's done with dignity; respect," said ROTC Leader SMSgt Paul Richardson.
The cadets also perform this symbolic ritual during the annual Relay For Life event that the school holds in April.