Mary E. Adair
Month of Patriotism!
Though July is a summer vacation month and many people travel in spite of the blistering heat, most Americans do celebrate the Fourth of July whether they are at home or away. In Saint Louis, Missouri, the fireworks that traditionally accompany such celebrations are extravagant and breathtaking. The city arranges the display from barges afloat in the mighty Mississippi River, near the famous Gateway Arch, that magnificent landmark looming over 640 ft. into the sky.
I've seen different displays in different parts of the country but the one for 2000 there in St. Louis will long dwell among my fondest memories. Fireworks are always stirring and exciting, bringing the glow of pride in our nation to the surface of our thoughts and emotions. The emotion is a bit different when watching the daytime parades; often tears veil the view one has of the floats in commemoration of veterans. Never should a nation use their patriotism to crush other nations beneath their heel, but should buoy them up alongside theirselves with strength and vision, courtesy and grace.
The following information recently came to my attention and I pass it along to you here with a thank you to "Spryte" the member of Small Planet II, an MSN community, who posted it for our enlightenment. I trust you will also appreciate it.
WHY THE AMERICAN FLAG IS FOLDED 13 TIMES
(Copyright 1997 by The American Legion)
Have you ever wondered why the flag of the United States of America is
folded 13 times when it is lowered or when it is folded and handed to the
widow at the burial of a veteran? Here is the meaning of each of those folds
and what it means to you.
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of all the veterans
departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our
country to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens
trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time
of war for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen
Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries may she always be
right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we
pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and to the
Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with
Liberty and Justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the
Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her
enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of
the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor
mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their
faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and
women who have made this country great has been moulded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his
sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower
portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their
eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an
emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son,
and Holy Spirit.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us
of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust".
After the flag is completely folded (thirteenth) and tucked in, it takes on the
appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served
under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served
under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates
in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights,
privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.
The next time you see a flag ceremony honoring someone that has served
our country, either in the Armed Forces or in our civilian services such as
the Police Force or Fire Department, keep in mind all the important reasons
behind each and every movement. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice for
all of us by honoring our flag and our country.May we all remember those who have served, and are still serving to preserve our precious freedoms today. Again, thank you for the information, Spryte. Spryte has passed this link on to us to learn more about flag courtesy and ceremonies,
We look forward to seeing you here next month, and hope you enjoy our July issue which brings returning writers and some poets new to our pages: June E. Miller, Jesse Anthony, and Juliana Taliferro. While Sam Massey has appeared in our pages before, it was in the several months that crashed disappearing from view in the Fall of 1999, so we welcome him and his cowboy poetry stylings anew. We introduce two new columnists: Gerard Meister ("Thinking Out Loud") and Darren Bardsley ("Ever Increasing Circles"). A serial by Rebecca Morris, for young and young-a-heart readers, begins this month - "The Adventures of Ollie-Dare."