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Carbon County students create American flag disposal box

Thanks to a few students in Carbon County, a private community will have a place where people can retire old and tattered American flags.

JIM THORPE, Pa. — Built and designed by the carpentry students at Carbon Career & Technical Institute in Jim Thorpe, disabled Army veteran Jim Mannix couldn't believe his eyes when he was shown his new American flag disposal box.

It's something he's been working to get for Towamensing Trails, the private community in Penn Forest Township where he lives. 

"We don't have a flag, an American flag drop box anywhere inside the trails, and really there's none around that I can recall so. We tried to get a used postal mailbox. Apparently, they're not available for use like this," said Mannix. 

After seeing a makeshift American flag box at an American Legion in Northhampton County, he brought the idea to his community's board. 

That's when someone reached out to see if the students at the Career & Technical Institute would be interested in making one. 

Jacob Pieri was one of the students who jumped on board, helping construct the box.  

"So it's an inside frame, and then we put the plywood on the outside, created the trim, and then we just did like a normal roofing situation," said Pieri, a senior at the school.

The box is about five feet tall and has a slot on the front where flags can be dropped in.

It's decorated in red, white, and blue writing with quotes. 

Brody Owens created the graphics on the box. 

"When you think about building it up, you don't think about it as actually real, and then it fully comes to life when you see it here in its final. It's going to be in a community. We're going to see it have a larger impact than just my design," Owens said. 

Mannix is grateful for the students who worked on this project. 

"Very excited about it. It's a very patriotic thing to do. It's a learning thing for them. This is what you're supposed to do to an American Flag that's been worn, tired, and torn. You don't burn it. You don't step on it. You don't put it in the trash bag. You take it to the proper place, and then it gets disposed of in a certain ceremony," Mannix said. 

Now, thanks to the students, Mannix's community has an appropriate place for flags to rest.

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