On the eve of Veterans Day, the Williamson Road Area Business Association teamed up with several organizations for a flag retirement ceremony that brought boy scouts and veterans together.
As old flags were retired Thursday night, a new one was raised at Roanoke’s Fire Station 3.
For some of the boy scouts, it was their first time helping raise and retire American flags.
“It allows us to think about all the veterans that served our country,” said Jaiden Cavek, a boy scout.
Cavek and his brother, Nasir Taylor, are both boy scouts who attended the ceremony. To retire the flag properly, it must be cut up in a special way and then burned, Taylor said.
“We have to cut [the] red and white stripes off and then leave the blue and the stars part untouched,” Taylor said.
“It shows respect,” said Ann Bird, a Cubmaster and assistant Scoutmaster.
Bird said it was her troop’s second year participating in the ceremony. She said she believes it’s important for the scouts to be able to see and meet the veterans at the event.
“They’ve given a lot to us, and we wouldn’t be the country we are now if we hadn’t had them, and they need to know that,” Bird said.
The boy scouts also distributed pins to veterans at the ceremony. Veterans we spoke with said they appreciate the boy scouts’ show of respect.
“It just feels that more and more attention is being paid to the vets,” said Leonna Sullivan, a Korean War veteran. “They didn’t pay any attention to the vets when the Korean War was over.”
This was the third year the Williamson Road Area Business Association held the ceremony, according to organizers.