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The Daily Flag News—May 28,2007

Memorial Day is an occasion of somber reflection in our country. MSNBC has a lot of pictures taken this year at Arlington Memorial Cemetery, so click over and taking a look.

‘On behalf of a grateful nation’ – Memorial Day – MSNBC.com
arlington-national-cemetery.jpgI walked over and read the simple but powerful words in French and English, “In gratitude to the United States of America and in remembrance of her 56,681 sons that now and forever sleep in French soil.” A elderly parishioner sitting in a pew nearby saw me reading the inscription and asked if I was an American. I said that I was – she slowly rose, nodded at the memorial and said, “You are welcome in France.”

Over the years, over a million Americans have died in military service. Each fallen warrior is afforded a military funeral. Military funerals symbolize respect for the fallen and their families. Anyone who has attended a military funeral will never forget it – the flag on the coffin, the honor guard in full dress uniform, the crack of the rifles firing three volleys as Taps is played on the bugle, the snap of the flag as it is folded into the familiar triangle of blue, the reverence of fellow warriors.

Inspiration strikes in many places. I love this story of an 84 year old veteran and his 68 year old helper, placing flags on the graves of fallen heroes. These fellows inspire me to take a serious look at my priorities.

Kansas.com | 05/27/2007 | Flag by flag, men honor veterans lostthe-wichita-eagle.jpgLutes is an 84-year-old World War II Air Force veteran. He wears blue jeans, a long brown sweater, an American Legion cap and a black support belt around his waist to help his back as he bends over to place the flags.

There are many flags to be planted. On the Friday before Memorial Day, Lutes and Tallman planted about 250 flags in seven different cemeteries in the Whitewater-Potwin area.

They are members of Whitewater American Legion Post 65, and every year for the past 87 years, the post has placed flags at the graves of more than 600 veterans in 17 cemeteries in three different counties — Sedgwick, Harvey and Butler — for Memorial Day.

Women in the post’s auxiliary place white crosses adorned with four red paper poppies at each grave.

Monday morning at 6, they will raise the “Avenue of the Flags” at the Whitewater and Potwin cemeteries.

Another Memorial Day event with flags placed to honor fallen police and firefighters, as well as servicemen.

News::500 Healing Flags Anchored At Honor Field
052507flags.jpgDespite the hot weather, workers anchored 500 American flags into the ground to remember Michiana’s fallen heroes.

The Mishawaka Exchange Club hammered hundreds of rods to post these American flags. It’s to honor people who served in the military as well as police officers and firefighters.

The Healing Flags and Honor Field was built along Church and Main Street in Mishawaka.

The Club says it’s hard work with fewer volunteers this year, but it’s all worth the effort.

Eagle Scout projects have many requirements, and Bryan Garcia is working to attain that rank with this Memorial Day flag retirement ceremony. A lot of hard work goes into a project of this nature.

A flag’s funeral – The Monitor
bs-flag-retirement.jpgMcALLEN — Bryan Garcia picked a solemn task for his Eagle Scout project — the disposal of a U.S. flag.

“I thought people didn’t know enough about the flag, how to take care of it properly and show respect for it,” said the McAllen High School senior.

So on Saturday morning in Archer Park, Garcia led Scouts and parents through a 10-minute flag retirement ceremony.

There are several ways to dispose of a flag, but the best is to cut it and burn it, Garcia said.

In front of 30 onlookers, Garcia and a half-dozen of his fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 76 cut the flag five or six times and placed the strips into a gas-fed fire.

“He’s doing something that needs to be done,” said Troop 76 assistant scoutmaster Mike Henry in an interview before the ceremony. “There’s so many flags flying that need to be retired. Those flags are special and they need to be disposed of properly.”

A little history to go with your daily reading. This article from Great Falls, Montana, shows the rich history surrounding the flag and the day.

Great Falls Tribune – www.greatfallstribune.com – Great Falls, MT
great-falls-tribune.jpgMemorial Day celebrations often focus on not just the men and women who have served their country, but the flag they protect and honor.

In 2006, the U.S. Air Force revised its Honor Guard manual to include this historical script for flag-folding ceremonies such as retirements and school presentations.
The new script is as follows:

For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s unity, as well as a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens.

The Second Continental Congress determined that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternating between seven red and six white; and that the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.

Between 1777 and 1960, the shape and design of the flag evolved into the flag presented before you today. The 13 horizontal stripes represent the original 13 colonies, while the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white signifies purity and innocence; and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

Traditionally, a symbol of liberty, the American flag has carried the message of freedom, and inspired Americans, both at home and abroad.

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