LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — More than a dozen people attended a Saturday morning ceremonial event in Boulder City to retire several American flags, a symbol that unites this country under one banner despite our many differences.

U.S. Army veteran Kurt Dunphy fought in the Vietnam War and he said these flags have a deep meaning.

“If you don’t respect it, then we don’t respect ourselves,” Dunphy said. “So retiring these flags with respect helps keep that alive.”

At least 30 American flags were retired at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The flags may have hung on someone’s front yard, at a local courthouse, or at a school, displaying America’s promise of granting its citizens life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

“We have, maybe, I think the greatest country in the world,” Dunphy said. “Yes we have some faults, but we’re still a shining beacon to a whole lot of the world.”

The Nevada Daughters of the American Revolution’s Valley of Fire chapter has been hosting this event on the first Saturday of May for the last 30 years.

“When an American flag is distressed. It’s tattered, it’s dirty. It can’t be flown. It’s disrespectful, and so the flag must be retired respectfully. You can’t just throw it in the garbage,” Michele Mueller, of the Nevada DAR, said.

After an hourlong ceremony, people carried the flags onto their last journey. Step by step, a black plume of smoke billowed into the air from a firepit.

The ceremony united Generation Z with Baby Boomers, under the banner of red, white, and blue.

“We’re honoring not only the country, but ourselves and everything that we stand for,” 19-year-old Dana Surwill said.  “So to be able to honor that in just a couple of seconds is absolutely amazing.”

Nylon, synthetic flags are burned in a more private setting due to the dangerous fumes they emit, according to organizers.