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American flag ends worldwide tour at Shaw

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cody Burgan, Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School (ALS), folds a flag while Senior Airman Esteban Cruz, 20th ALS flag detail team member, holds the flag at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 2, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cody Burgan, Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School (ALS), folds a flag while Senior Airman Esteban Cruz, 20th ALS flag detail team member, holds the flag at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 2, 2018. The team presented the flag to a representative of the Sumter Police Department as a token of the bond between Shaw and the community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Cody Burgan, left, Allison Burkett and Esteban Cruz, Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School flag detail team members, collect a flag at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 2, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Cody Burgan, left, Allison Burkett and Esteban Cruz, Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School flag detail team members, collect a flag at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 2, 2018. The team folded the flag in a retreat ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School salute a flag at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 3, 2018.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School salute a flag at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 3, 2018. The flag was presented to a representative of the Sumter City Police Department to demonstrate Shaw’s commitment to the Sumter community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School perform drill movements at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 3, 2018.

U.S. Airmen assigned to the Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School perform drill movements at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 3, 2018. The Airmen assembled a formation to perform a flag retreat ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

Gary Fowler, Sumter City Police Department emergency management coordinator, holds a flag presented by 20th Fighter Wing Airmen at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 2, 2018.

Gary Fowler, Sumter City Police Department emergency management coordinator, holds a flag presented by 20th Fighter Wing Airmen at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 2, 2018. Fowler took the flag to the new Sumter Police station and displayed it for visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Ingold)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. – Airmen attending the Senior Master Sgt. David B. Reid Airmen Leadership School at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, presented an American flag to Gary Fowler, Sumter City Police Department emergency management coordinator, outside of the Spratt Education Center, Feb. 2.

Shaw was the second to last destination for a flag that toured the world before ending at the new Sumter City Police Department building.

“This flag is a symbol of the bond between the city of Sumter, South Carolina, and Shaw,” said Fowler. “With us opening a new police department and education center, we wanted to have a common bond.”

The flag was also flown over the United States Capitol, South Carolina Capitol, Yorktown Battlefield, Columbia Criminal Justice Academy, South Carolina State Fallen Officer’s Memorial, Afghanistan and finally at Shaw, said Fowler. The flag will fly at the new Sumter police station for a day and then be retired in a display case inside the police department.

Shaw’s ALS students bore the responsibility of raising the flag over the base and presenting it to Fowler in a retreat ceremony.

“I feel great about (the ceremony),” said Tech. Sgt. Crystal Williams, 20th Fighter Wing protocol noncommissioned officer in charge. “I think it’s a privilege to fly the flag for them.”

Fowler grasped the flag tightly in his arms and, at the command of “dismissed,” a smile broke out under his mirrored sunglasses. His pride in bringing the colors home to the new Sumter Police Station was apparent, as was the pride in the flag detail with a loud exchange of high fives. The flag flown is now resting in its display case in Sumter and can be seen by anyone wishing to view a piece of American history.