After many weeks of seeing our national anthem being disrespected by the NFL, I would like to voice my personal opinion on this. I believe in your right to protest, but showing lack of respect to our country is not the way to do it.
If you want to kneel, go to a VA Hospital and kneel beside a veteran who has lost limbs to give you freedom of expression, or go to a graveside military funeral and kneel beside the grieving widow. I have worked at two different VA Hospitals, and our veterans need the support of all our citizens.
Our military men and women must leave this country to go protect your right to freedom of expression. These men and women leave for extended periods of time not knowing if they will even come back and if they do come back, what shape they will be in. These men and women will never make in a life time what you are making in salary. Quit whining, and be real men.
Perhaps you have not heard of agent orange, which was sprayed during the Vietnam War; 20 to 30 years afterward, these veterans developed diabetes causing them to lose their feet or legs.
My recently deceased husband was in the U.S. Navy and was involved in the Cuban crises and various other deployments. I am proud to be a wife of a veteran.
I imagine some of you do not know what the folding of the flag means at a military funeral. These are what the folds represent. There may be other slightly different versions, but this is the one that I like.
Have you ever noticed on TV or at military funerals that the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times.
I've known how the 21-gun salute was determined (adding the individual digits of 1776) but only recently learned why the flag was folded 13 times when it is lowered or when it is folded and handed to the widow at the burial of a veteran.
Here it is: 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 amed 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 womandood, 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 10th 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 11th 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 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 the Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation’s 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 Gen. George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Capt. 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.
May God bless the USA, as we need more of God in this country.
SHIRLEY OSBORNE, R.N.