Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Veteran's Day Remembrances

President Wilson said in November of 1919:
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The fighting of World War I stopped at 11 a.m. of the 11th month (Nov), on the 11th day. It was called Armistice and it was celebrated on November 11th to commemorate that Armistice. As time went on and WWII came to pass the day was eventually changed to a Monday and celebrated as Veteran’s Day. In 1978 is was changed back to the original November 11th and has been this way ever since.
Veteran’s Day is coming upon us Sunday, November 11, 2018. Please remember this day and celebrate it appropriately. Veteran’s that want to be involved in celebrations will be. Those who want to take it easy will do that too. We know there is a parade. Please don’t tell us we should be there. Also, don’t ask stupid questions like “Did you kill anyone?” These are personal things that are only shared when needed. If one of us was involved in combat we generally don’t want to talk about it, or we have already talked about it with the people of our choice. Saying Thank you is appropriate, but don’t tell us why you didn’t serve because we frankly, don’t care. Be respectful.
One good way to pay respect on Veteran’s Day is to fly the flag. Contrary to others “free speech” ideas the United States flag is something that we respect. If you feel a need to desecrate this symbol that we fought under, and watched others die under, please do so somewhere away from us.
If you fly the flag here are some guidelines:
The Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:
• The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
• The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speaker’s desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
• The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
• The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
• The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
• The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Displaying the Flag Outdoors
When the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.
When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.
When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.
When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.
When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.
Raising and Lowering the Flag
The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.
Displaying the Flag Indoors
When on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.
The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.
When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.
When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right, and to the observer's left.
Parading and Saluting the Flag
When carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.
The Salute
To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem
The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag,
My wife was a typical military wife. She is fiercely patriotic. Because of her service by supporting my service she is part of the military in a very real way. When she sees a worn and faded flag in front of any store or restaurant, she talks to managers to tell them to replace the flag. She has done it all over the town we live near and she has even done it when we were on vacation and in other places. She understands the sacrifice of those who paid the “last full measure of devotion” for that flag and for this country. She and I feel that disloyalty to the flag is disloyalty to those who gave all for us.
I am a veteran. I served in a combat support role but found myself in the thick of that combat. As we were rolling down a runway at egress speed, being shot at, I saw out the starboard door of the aircraft the United States flag that I fought under. I watched as some good friends and brothers died with that same flag attached to their uniform.
If you want to thank a veteran, fly and respect the flag that represents so much to us. Our country was “conceived in liberty.” And it has been through much and has “long endured.” The least we can do is show respect that those who served so richly deserve.
Be mindful that some veterans experience in the military was not pleasant because of combat circumstances. Veterans Day and Memorial Day aren’t always days of celebration for them.

Semper Paratus
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