In close proximity to a V.A. National Cemetery, Upper Rogue residents probably have more than average occasion to witness military funeral chapel services. Over the years spectators have observed uniformed Honor Guards ceremoniously proceeding through the steps. The silent ritual transitions Old Glory from a large rectangle blanketing a casket, to a neatly-packed triangle in a transparent vinyl pouch for the next-of-kin.
On Veterans Day at White City’s VA facility, Public Affairs Director, Anna Diehl read the symbolic meaning in each of the folds the flag endured. Below are excerpts:
The first fold – a symbol of life. The second symbolizes belief in eternal life. The third honors the departing veteran who defended our country and world peace. The fourth denotes our weaker nature, trusting in God for divine guidance. The fifth – a tribute to our country. The sixth – where our hearts lie in our pledge to the flag. The seventh – a tribute to the Armed Forces through which we protect our country and flag against enemies. The eighth honors mothers.
The ninth fold represents a tribute to womanhood. The tenth – a tribute to fathers. The eleventh in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents a lower portion of the Star of David, glorifying the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Twelfth in the eyes of a Christian citizen represents an emblem of eternity.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our motto, “In God we trust.”
After it’s completely folded and tucked in, the flag resembles a hat, reminding us of soldiers who fought under Gen. George Washington, and sailors who served John Paul Jones. Comrades and shipmates followed in preserving the rights and freedoms we enjoy every day.