Photo Credit, Veterans United
I barreled through the house and up the stairs, damp running clothes and shoes flung everywhere in my wake. I was late and literally just pulling open the shower curtain when the phone rang. I hesitated, then felt a weird chill come over me. That was odd since I had just run 4 miles on warm morning in early September.
“Are you okay, Babe?” Cary said into the receiver. He was teaching high school agriculture at the time.
“Sure, why?” I was already feeling strange; goose bumps, I just remember the goose bumps creeping up my arms and legs.
“Turn on the TV,” he whispered.
Just as I did, I watched the first of two smoking towers collapse. I felt myself sink to the floor. I probably shrieked or gasped aloud. My very first instinct-driven thought was my younger brother, Tom, who had just completed basic training and was headed to AIT in Missouri that fall. At that moment, I knew he would be headed somewhere in the Middle East.
“It’s bad. This is really, really bad. I bet they cancel school. Don’t go anywhere, I’ll be home as soon as I can,” Cary said.
There are moments in life when you know beyond logic that everything will be different from there on. For any of us old enough to remember, 9-11 is that day. A short timeline of the events of 17 years ago today: https://www.history.com/topics/9-11-timeline
We are nation all affected, still affected, by 9-11-01. It is the tragedy of our time and has impacted the national dialog about politics for a generation. Today, besides remembering, I’d like to share something I recently came across. It’s about our flag.
Last week my family laid my 93-year-old grandfather to rest. I couldn’t help but be impressed as I watched two elderly gentlemen deftly and respectfully fold the flag that had adorned his casket 13 times before presenting it to my grandmother. A good friend later asked me if I was familiar with what the 13 folds represent. I was embarrassed to say that I was not. I think it is fitting today to share this material, taken verbatim from the American Legion website, about our flag. Source: https://www.legion.org/flag/folding
“Symbols for the Folds of the Flag”
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 veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace, as well as in times 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 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 our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.
The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, 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 12th 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 Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”