Panther Valley JROTC Platoon Leader Joseph Bevins slowly lowered the 10-foot-by-16-foot American flag from its pole at the Coaldale Complex this week.

As the flag approached the end of its tether, Bevins and several other cadets deftly caught it, making sure it did not touch the ground.

With crisp, sure movements, the cadets folded the flag, which will be kept by Coaldale World War II Committee member William Gaddes until it is once again raised in May.

"We take it down after Veterans Day," he said.

The flag was given to the committee by now-state Senator David G. Argall. This summer, members of the Coaldale Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 refurbished the pole with material provided by the committee; Gaddes repainted the base.

The annual lowering is significant for the cadets, led by Commander Kenneth Markovich.

"The flag is a symbol of our nation, and it has to be honored. That's our job as representatives of the Army, as cadets," said Battalion Commander Courtney Lazar.

She said the cadets learned the specific way the American flag is to be folded.

"We had classes on it, and we have flag detail at school every morning," she said.

The cadets also fold the American flag at military funerals.

In addition to Lazar and Bevins, the cadets who participated in the annual flag-lowering are: Executive Officer Ashlee Miller; S2 Jeremy Thomas; S4 Chelsea Digiglio; 1st Sgt. Lazur Zenon; Sgt. Amber Woodring and Cpl. Pat Iezzoni.