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Claremore honors veterans with flag retirement ceremony

Veterans, city leaders and Claremore High School JROTC took a moment Friday before the city’s Veterans Day Parade to retire a flag that has flown in front of the Expo Center for quite some time. (KTUL)

CLAREMORE, Okla. (KTUL) – Veterans, city leaders and Claremore High School JROTC took a moment Friday before the city’s Veterans Day Parade to retire a flag that has flown in front of the Expo Center for quite some time.

It was a sentimental ceremony for Ryan Payne.

“My grandfather was a World War II veteran and my dad was a Vietnam veteran,” he said. “It makes you feel good that it’s done the right way and the American flag is still honored like it should be.”

Taylor Brown led the tribute.

“It’s a true honor to be a part of such a ceremony,” he said.

This is his final year to participate as a member of the high school’s JROTC.

“There’s no way to really describe it,” he said. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience. You got four years of high school to do this and after this, it’s done.”

He has something to look forward to after he graduates.

“I enlisted in the United States Navy on Aug. 2, 2017, the day before my birthday and I’m basically just waiting to ship out for that,” he said.

In Claremore, it’s more than a day to honor those who have fought for our country.

“We always see on the news we’re fighting for different things,” said Payne. “People have to understand that the freedoms we have today didn’t come cheap and we should never forget the veterans. Claremore still supports their veterans.”

Claremore’s Veterans Day Parade is one of the largest parades in Oklahoma.

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