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Flags play big role in marking 9/11 anniversary

September 12, 2018

LAUGHLIN — The Stars and Stripes played a major role in area observances of the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Flags at most buildings in the area flew at half mast, including those at the Laughlin fire stations and VFW Post 10005 of Bullhead City.

Clark County Fire Station 76 in Laughlin displayed a special tribute to the 343 firefighters who died in the attacks at the World Trade Center, lining its walkways and entry way with flags surrounding the number 343.

American Legion Laughlin Post 60 also hosted a flag retirement ceremony, in which a half-dozen U.S. flags were destroyed in accordance with the United States Flag Code.

The United States Flag Code says that “when a flag is so tattered that it no longer fits to serve as a symbol of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning.”

Post commander Terrill Tinnell said the Legion retires 150 to 200 flags a year. Those include flags that have flown over the post building, some flown at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino, and some that line Needles Highway. They also include flags owned by post members.

The respectful disposal of Old Glory is important because it is a symbol of the country and “the men and women who died in defense of liberty,” Tinnell said.

Post officials said they thought the flag retirement ceremony was the most progressive way of marking the date, associated with the largest terror attack in world history, and in which a high number of first responders were killed attempting to rescue others.

The post also hosted a barbecue after the ceremony. Guests included members of Laughlin Girl Scout Troop 4690, who assisted in retiring the flags, after a lesson on folding from post first vice commander Pam Walker.

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