Our Stars and Stripes!
We had the opportunity to attend a flag retiring ceremony the other night and it is one night that will stay with me forever. I have always thought of myself as a patriotic person. I have great pride in our country and insurmountable pride for our members of our armed forces. I find myself realizing, every so often, my own ignorance of what is going on around me and have to take a moment to appreciate the safety and blessings that I enjoy by living in the United States of America.
Before this week the only time that I have been part of any kind of flag ceremony that has been emotional for me was when they took the flag off of my father's coffin, folded it, and presented it to me. It was one of those moments when it truly hit me what he did for our country and what others do every day.
When I was in elementary school we learned about the flag and how to respect and care for it. It is a lesson that has always stayed with me and one that I will act upon. Right after having that lesson I went to the store with my mom and the flag flying out front was tattered and had rips in it. I complained to my mom what a disgrace that was and that it was wrong for them to keep flying a flag like that. She told me to tell the store and took me over to customer service. I did tell them how I felt and by the time we were done shopping there was a new flag flying. Over the years I have done this many more times and have never been afraid to share my feeling when it comes to this great symbol of our country.
This week when we attending this ceremony I wasn't prepared for the feeling that would assault me. It was such a solemn moment watching each flag be folded and then reverently placed upon the fire. The closest way of explaining the feelings that I felt while watching them burn was like losing a family member. The man leading the ceremony was Kenny's 1st Sergeant when he was in the National Guard and he had Kenny be one of the ones to place one of the flags in the fire. I think that was a special moment for Kenny to have that connection with someone from his Guard days again.
Witnessing such an emotional event brought very vivid images to my mind and I wish at times like this that I was more poetic and able to share my feeling better. I am not even doing justice to the evening that we had with my simple thought that I have shared so far. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a flag retiring ceremony I would recommend you do so. It has helped me to remember again how dearly I love our Stars and Stripes.