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Boys Scouts, Township Hold Flag Retirement Ceremony

More than 100 American flags were properly disposed Tuesday night.

Old and tattered American flags were given the proper retirement Tuesday night in Upper St. Clair.

Boy Scout Troop #366 teamed up with the township for a ceremony at the fire circle behind the old recreation center on McLaughlin Run Road.

"The flags are old and need to be retired with the proper respect given," said Boy Scout Nathan Pica, a sixth grader.

"A lot of patriotism has left the United States and this brings it back for me," said Boy Scout John Benhart, a sophomore. "It reminds us of how much has been sacrificed (for the country)."

"My dad is in the military so it means a little more to me. I went to a hospital and saw the troops' injuries. People don't know how much they sacrifice. They (the troops) are really taken for granted," said Boy Scout Joseph Morgan, a seventh grader.

After a brief ceremony, the scouts took turns bringing the flags to the fire. About a dozen onlookers circled the fire pit and watched in silence.

The scouts burned the flags that they and the township collected.

Ron Sarrick, Upper St. Clair Public Works' buildings/grounds and sustainability administrator, started the collection of the unserviceable flags.

He said the township had about a half dozen old flags that he wanted to get rid of properly, and after some research, found the "Retire Old Glory" program.

There is now a "Retire Old Glory" bin in the Upper St. Clair Community and Recreation Center for people to drop off their old flags. Since May, 247 flags have been dropped off.

"It's just really taken off," Sarrick said. "There's a need."

Another flag retirement ceremony will take place on Flag Day, June 14, 2013.

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