Students learn proper way to retire American flags

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 1:37 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - Potsdam students learned Wednesday how to retire Old Glory from those who know it best and, in the process, found out more about the military.

Positivity Club students at Potsdam High School invited New York Army National Guard soldiers to demonstrate proper flag retirement. For the soldiers, years of military service deepen the flag’s meaning.

“Absolutely, it means a lot more. It’s the flag over my shoulder when I first enlisted. It’s the flag that flew over us during deployment. It will be the flag that’s placed over our coffin when we reach our final resting place,” said Staff Sergeant Charles Griffin, New York Army National Guard.

The Positivity Club will retire about 50 flags for local organizations.

“It felt great to see what could happen and how to properly dispose of the flag for the country so that it’s not disrespectful to the people that have served for us,” said Alivia Gilson, high school freshman.

Before the flag retirement, students asked questions of the soldiers at breakfast. They wanted to know about skills you can learn and what deployments are like.

“When you have someone in front of you that’s from the organization, you can get that firsthand knowledge as opposed to just Googling some information,” said Griffin.

Students liked the answers they heard.

“It’s awesome knowing that anybody and everybody can make a difference in our country,” said Gilson.

A number of the soldiers there are recruiters. Sergeant Griffin says the flag retirement and breakfast session was their first at a school.

At Potsdam High School, Wednesday was all about the military and the flag. But on another day, it might be about another activity, like the Positivity Club’s P2 Food Market for families.

The Positivity Club’s parent organization has named it a national model for those activities.

Copyright 2021 WWNY. All rights reserved.