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‘It’s all about courage:’ Veterans talk to students about service

Symbolism of a folded flag

The symbolism behind a folded flag, from the American Legion website:

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 veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; 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 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 our 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 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.

The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, 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 Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God we trust.”

 

KANNAPOLIS — Hank Robson and George Kafka, two Marine Corps veterans, spoke to an enraptured group of third graders at Shady Brook Elementary School in Kannapolis on Thursday afternoon. The event was in honor of Veterans Day, “one of the most important and prestigious days we can celebrate,” Kafka said.

The two shared stories from their terms of service, talked about the importance of duty to God, family and country and showed the group the proper way to fold an American flag.

The flag folding was a solemn moment as Robson explained that folded flags had often been draped over the coffins of those who had fallen, and were presented a solider’s next of kin after his or her death. While the two made each of the thirteen folds, teacher Melissa Little walked students through the meaning and symbolism behind each.

The two encouraged students, telling them that they are the leaders of tomorrow.

“It’s all about freedom. It’s all about courage. It’s all about leadership,” Kafka said.

Rebecca Rider

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