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Veterans Day retirement ceremony respectfully burns worn, tattered American flags

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Ten-year-old Jackson Tappert, left, and VFW Commander David Lowe retired an old American flag through a ceremonial burning. A flame was lit in the parking lot of Bateman Carrol Funeral Home so that veterans could honor a worn and tattered American flag one last time.

The Gresham Flag Retirement Ceremony was done in accordance with U.S. Flag Code, which reads that when a flag is in poor enough condition that it is "no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

The ceremony was put on by the Gresham Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 180 Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 11, and hosted by Bateman Carrol, 520 West Powell Boulevard. The plan is to make this a bi-annual ceremony, held in Gresham every Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

For community members with worn flags in need of retirement, the Gresham VFW has placed two drop boxes in the community — one at Gresham City Hall, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway, and the other at Troutdale City Hall, 219 E. Historic Columbia River Highway.

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