An annual Flag Retirement Ceremony presented by the Suffolk County Boy Scout Council was held on Saturday, September 21, at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge. Each year, Scouts collect old worn flags which are retired at a special ceremony. Boy Scouts from Troop 3 (Smithtown) and Troop 7 (St. James) assisted with the ceremony. Cub Scouts from several other units including Packs 228 and 589 also presented flags for retirement.
Troop 3 Scout, Jake Schlesinger, opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance and Scout Oath. A special dedication then followed honoring eight groups of people who lost their lives on 9/11, in the line of duty, or in other violent incidents. For each group, a flag was presented under salute and was laid to rest in a fire pit. Flags were also presented and retired in memory of a loved one. Several Troop 3 Scouts, including Russell Giannotti, and Michael Pomeroy retired flags in honor of a family member. Scouts and adult leaders presented hundreds of tattered flags and laid them to rest in flames in order to properly retire the flags.