This November in recognition of Veteran's Day, I was asked to speak at a local school.
I spoke to the children about some aspects of my 20 year military career. Then I led the children through a talk about caring for one another. You see many of the students were children of veterans. It is important for the children to know that sometimes the parents leave this country in the performance of their duties. It is acceptable for the children to express their emotions with each other as they feel lonely or anxious. Through one another and the teachers and their church families they can confide, and receive the love they need form each other. God has blessed them with an extended familiy. The children viewed my medals and ribbons, as a way of telling the story of my career in the military. Each ribbon represented a mission or a time in history. We discussed travel, education, family times, joys and pains. The children learned that our church family is important to us. The church is a family to my wife and children when I am away from home.
We tooks some time to speak about the emblems of our country. We described the flag. The Blue signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice with which our ancestors fought in the many battles for our country. The star is a symbol of the heavens and the divine goal to which man has aspired from time immemorial; the stripe is symbolic of the rays of light emanating from the sun. The thirteen stripes alternate red and white represent the original thirteen United States. The White signifies purity and innocence in all our hearts. It also represents the honor that each of us should show in our everyday lives. The Red, embodies hardiness & valour. This for all the men and women who have died in the service of our country, both as members of the armed forces and everyday citizens.
We noticed that the flag represented the many service men and women who have in history, who have in the present and who will service the great nation. We stood together and Pledged Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
I 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.
We discussed each word of this pledge. Pledge and Allegiance and United and America and Republic and Stand and One and Nation andUnder and God and Indivisible and Liberty and Justice and All. Isn't wonderful to know that we are a nation under God?
We talked alot about our hopes and dreams our worries and our fears. We prayed. We let God know that we love Him, and our fellow schoolmate and our country. We closed the discussion with a flag folding ceremony.
The flag folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our country was originally founded. The portion of the flag representing honor is the canton of blue containing the stars representing the states our veterans served in uniform. The field of blue appears from left to right.
In the Armed Forces of the United States, at the ceremony of retreat the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation's honored dead. The next morning it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.
1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
2. The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
3. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
4. 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 times of war for His divine guidance.
5. 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."
6. 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.
7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day,
9. 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; to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.
10. The tenth fold is a tribute to father for whom it flies on Father's Day; for his provision, passion, mentoring, and leadership have given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
11. 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.
12. 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 Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."
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.
I encourage all of you Americans to daily share your faith with your fellow Americans.