Today is Veterans Day in the United States of America.

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Today is Veterans Day in the United States of America.

It’s a day to give respect to the brave men and women who sacrificed to keep our country and freedoms safe. A day to honor those serving our nation today. It a time for reflection. For perspective.

My husband and I were both Honor Guards (a privilege I will always treasure) and even to this day the sound of taps and seeing a flag folded always makes me cry. It is a proud moment, but gut wrenching at the same time.

Have you ever noticed at military funerals how the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times?

Ever wonder why the American Flag is folded 13 times when it is lowered or when it is folded and handed to the family at the burial of a veteran?

When I first thought about it I assumed (incorrectly) that the U.S. flag was folded 13 times in honor of the first 13 U.S. states.

When teaching our military kids about the flag this is what they learned.

Even though the practice of incorporating 13 folds did not begin because each fold had a specific meaning, specific meanings have subsequently come to be ascribed to each of the 13 folds.

The American Flag is Folded 13 Times…

Honor Guard

Honor Guard

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 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 republic.

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 molded.

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 born.

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.

With the final fold the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation’s motto, “In God We Trust.”

Author  Unknown

 

After the flag is completely folded 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.

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The next time you see a Flag ceremony honoring someone that has served our country, 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.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things which have deep meaning.

When you see the American Flag folding ceremony, now you will know why

 

 

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. AprilEsutton
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 08:21:02

    Thank you. I was just to my first military funeral and was very impressed. This Knowledge makes the ceremony even more meaningful.

    Reply

  2. Keeping Kadence
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 08:47:09

    Very nice post.

    Reply

  3. imanikel
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 08:59:57

    Thank you for educating me on this. i totally appreciate it. Now I know a bit of that culture.

    Reply

  4. Christine @ Swallows from my Kitchen Window
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 09:52:30

    Thanks for the explanation; now the ceremony will mean even more…

    Reply

  5. LifestyleswithLia
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 09:53:58

    Thanks you for sharing this.. I’ve seen flag folding ceremonies many times but never knew about each fold!

    Reply

  6. Teresa Oh
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 10:08:16

    Thank you.

    Reply

  7. Trackback: A time to Evoke, as well as Remember (#NaBloPoMo Day 11) | Four Dimensional Framework
  8. MillarDKits
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 12:29:50

    Very interesting, thanks, for that and all of you other Veterans Day posts today! Wish you and your husband all the best on this day from a neighbour north of the border. Marked the occasion with a post of my own and included links to a couple of yours. Thanks for following.
    http://4dframework.ca/2014/11/11/a-time-to-evoke-as-well-as-remember-nablopomo-day-11/

    Reply

  9. paulawalkerbaker
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 18:58:33

    Reblogged this on paulawalkerbaker and commented:
    I never knew there were specific meanings for each fold. I would like to share this so that you , too , can learn what the folds mean. Thank you,Crafty Lady for the lesson and for your and your husband’s service to our country.

    Reply

  10. The Crafty Lady In Combat Boots
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 21:41:40

    Thank you for your kind words and I am glad that you could pass some of my information on ☺

    Reply

  11. dcanderson13
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 23:19:45

    Thank you for sharing this information. I never knew this before about the flag ceremony, and appreciate learning about it.

    Reply

  12. Life in the moment
    Nov 11, 2014 @ 23:36:45

    When my Dad died my son folded the flag and presented it to his stepmother. It is definitely emotional… thank you, to both you and your husband, for your service to this country 🙂 God bless!

    Reply

  13. Passenger
    Nov 14, 2014 @ 14:38:17

    Thak you for a very informational post. I did not know and when my stepmother was prestented with my fathers flag we were not told. I am going to print this out and tack it to the backside of dad’s flag frame so I can remeber.

    Reply

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