Young boys carried twigs and logs to a fire on an empty lot just north of St. Haralambos Church in Niles Monday, stoking the flames with new fuel.
The youths, from Cub Scout Pack 821 and Boy Scout Troop 821 at St. Haralambos, were participating in a flag retirement ceremony.
While a color guard from the Niles Police Department stood at attention and members of the Niles Fire Department kept their eyes on a bonfire whose smoke was curling up towards a tall tree branch, Troop Leader George Alpogianis reminded the boys that the flag stands for freedom, and that tattered and worn flags must be disposed of with dignity, by burning.
The boys then took turns carrying the flags to the bonfire and tossing them on it, watching them burn within moments.
The flags had been displayed by the village of Niles, at various points around town, and become weather-beaten, said Anthony Dati, who works for the village's Public Services department.
See the video to watch the Scouts fulfilling the solemn duty.