BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - There comes a time in every flag's life when it must be retired and ceremonies like this make sure it is done correctly.
"It's a very respectful way of disposing our flags that are worn and no longer in service," said Boy Scout volunteer Doris Jones.
Traditionally a scouting ceremony, the Biloxi High School JROTC and Troop 212 members took a day out of their summer vacations to honor the veteran flags.
"We are retiring the flags that have served for a very long time and needed to be, how you say, burned," said Ashtin Fetcho, JROTC.
Since it is disrespectful to set a full flag on fire, members carefully cut each flag into pieces in order to preserve its dignity.
One by one, each person lined up to place a flag on top of the burning pile. There were so many flags that they ran out of room in the barrel.
"Sometimes a flag can go hundreds of years without even being burned and they'll rot, break. So, it shows honor to our American citizens," said Fetcho.
Although the Biloxi VFW usually reserves this ceremony for Flag Day, officials wanted to honor Memorial Day as well.
"It feels very honorable to me because it showed dedication to my state. It shows that I care about my people," said Fetcho.
In fact, the patriotism of the ceremony even drew people from outside the organizations.
"I came with my big sister, because she's an amazing person, and I wanted to show respect for the United States," said Merrick Cunningham, Fetcho's brother. "It made me feel really nice."