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Formal flag retirement ceremony teaches American flag has ‘respect due to it’

Formal flag retirement ceremony in Aberdeen teaches Boy Scouts American flag has ‘respect due to it’ (WBFF)

ABERDEEN, Md. (WBFF) -- Over 50 American flags were burned in Aberdeen Sunday during a formal flag retirement ceremony held by Trail Life USA Troop 518.

A majority of the flags burned were once part of the home of veteran and Aberdeen resident Eugene Johnson. Because of a development project in the area, Johnson had to leave his flag-covered home earlier this year and move into an apartment complex.

Troop Master Steve Padgett lives in the neighborhood and frequently passed by Johnson's residence. Padgett said he wanted to make sure that the American flags from the house received a proper retirement.

"I really didn't want to see them ground into the dirt or thrown into a landfill after the building went down, so I thought this is the right thing to do," said Padgett.

Other community members came to retire their own tattered flags. Troop Master Padgett said the retirement ceremony was also a good way to show his Trail Life USA troop the proper way to treat the American flag.

Veteran Jeff McFillin came with his son and said the respect and dignity of the flag needs to be honored.

"It's showing and teaching the boys that there's more to the flag than just a piece of material, that it’s got respect due to it, that it means a lot to our country, our nation, and all who served," said McFillin.

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