DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) — It was during a Durant Chamber of Commerce meeting that city leaders realized they didn't have a designated place to retire American flags.

"Some of these flags mean a lot to the families, and they don't want them to be just thrown away," said VFW Post 3916 Commander Don "Pappy" Papin.

Woodmen Life Insurance donated a flag drop-off box to the Bryan County VFW Post back in the summer of 2023.  That box is now it's cemented into the framework of downtown Durant, with a plaque donated by Gordon's Funeral Home.

It stands as a symbol of the city's patriotism and commitment to the people who fight to defend those Stars and Stripes.

"We suggested that they put it in the little square area by the Post that wasn't being used," Papin said. "Just a couple of weeks ago, we got it all done, and it looks fantastic."

The VFW works with different organizations to retire the flags.

"A flag has to be disposed of properly. It gives people a place — when we're not open — to come by, drop them off, and we can pick them up and we can dispose of them properly," Papin said.

The Boy Scouts will periodically hold flag-burning ceremonies, and some flags are recycled and used as gifts for veterans.

The process gives patriots young and old a way to pay their respects to Old Glory.

"These flags — especially the ones that are on the caskets — are given to the families," Papin explained. "They're very important to the families. They're important to us, part of our heritage. Just very important."