In a recent news story on foxnews.com, it is reported that “a group of congressmen has asked the Department of Veterans Affairs to reconsider its ban on the flag-folding ceremony at military funerals after the agency decided last month to streamline burials at federal cemeteries.”
It goes on to explain that the flag-folding ceremony had been stopped due to a complaint by someone about the speech each flag-folder recites as they fold the flag. Each fold stands for something different:
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
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.
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.
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 in to 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, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to 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 Ghost.
The problem has come with the symbol of the eleventh fold. It seems some people have been offended by the mention of an eternal God. So in attempts to unify all cemeteries’ services, they have banned the flag-folding ceremony. Instead of letting each family choose whether or not they want to have it, they have forbidden it totally.
This is a slap in the face of every veteran. I mean, our country wouldn’t even have a flag if it weren’t for them. How is this any way to honor our heroes? “When we got back from the war, we didn’t ask for a whole lot,” said Bobby Castillo, 85, a World War II Navy veteran. “We just want to give our veterans the respect they deserve. No one has ever complained to us about it. I just don’t understand.”
I know this, my father will have a flag-folding ceremony if I have anything to do with it. I will honor his contribution to our country during the Vietnam War. He didn’t fight and risk his life for nothing. I think each and every one of our veterans deserves the same.