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JROTC retires flags

By Shannon Ballard 7:29 PM February 19, 2014

More than 50 flags retired by the Thunderbird Battalion at East High

ANCHORAGE - There are a lot of American flags out there, but what do you do with them when they get old?

The JROTC battalion at East Anchorage High School asked that very question and presented the answer Wednesday.

An American flag is the symbol of our nation’s freedom, but too often we don’t think about what happens, or what should happen, when that symbol becomes worn, torn or ready for replacement.

Some might ask why the flag and properly retiring it are so important.

For Cadet Sgt. Ioasa Taliulu, from American Samoa, the answer is simple.

“To me it means pride, and you can take your pride anywhere you go,” Taliulu said. “You just get this shiver, I get that every time I hear the national anthem being sung.”

Taliulu said he was proud to be part the third annual flag retirement ceremony at East Anchorage High School.

He is retiring the first of more than 50 flags. The flags were collected across Anchorage by the JROTC Thunderbird Battalion.

The event helps members remember the significance of the stars and stripes.

“This is something we get to share with the community, how we properly retire the American flag,” Taliulu explained.

The U.S. Army challenged the Thunderbird Battalion to develop their own connection with the flag and share it with their classmates.

Because he loves his country, Taliulu said, he’s driven pay the ultimate respect to the flag and honor it in every way possible.

If you have a flag that needs to be retired, you can donate it at the East Anchorage High School attendance office.

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