For the last several weeks Caroline has walked around the house singing bits and pieces of God Bless the USA by the bearded Lee Greenwood. Then sometime last week I noticed she was humming a few bars of the Air Force theme, Wild Blue Yonder. It all began to make sense when she was sent home with a note explaining that her school was having a special program in honor of Veterans’ Day.
And here I’d thought she was just some kind of musical prodigy with a penchant for patriotic tunes.
So yesterday morning Mimi and Gigi met me at the elementary school. I don’t know what they were expecting, but just seeing that gym full of elementary-aged kids and eager parents elbowing each other out of the way with cameras brought me back to the days of my own star-making role as Narrator #1 in Bammel Elementary’s production of Bambi. Which is to say that my expectations were not very high.
Then the program started and it was the best Veterans’ Day tribute I’ve ever experienced and I say that without a trace of sarcasm and that’s something that rarely happens.
I generally stay away from controversial topics like politics and whether or not I believe the best boots are the ones that zip up the side or pull on, but I don’t think it would take a political science wunderkind (how long have I been waiting to use that word?) to figure out which side of the political spectrum I lean towards. I mean I’m a Texan, my husband owns mass quantities of weaponry, and WE WATCH NASCAR.
As I watched those kids sing their little patriotic hearts out yesterday, I felt a sense of pride and hope for our country that I haven’t felt in a while. I’m not happy about the direction things are going and, honestly, I feel like we’re paying for our apathy.
Later in the day, P called me. He’d just attended a weekly lunchtime Bible study for high school students and was blown away by the guest speaker. It was an 83-year-old woman nicknamed Grandma Hansi. She was orphaned as a child and brainwashed as a Nazi Youth Leader when Hitler’s troops marched in to Czechoslovakia. At the end of the war she found herself in a Communist Labor Camp. The things she suffered are unimaginable to us but the short story is she ultimately became a Christian and came to America in 1955. She talked about the extreme culture shock she felt upon her arrival because she couldn’t even fathom the freedom that Americans take for granted. As she says on her website, “I would rather die than ever be unfree again. I pray that we as the American people will never take freedom for granted or we might lose it. If Freedom is lost, there will be no more refuge left for those who try to find a better way of life as I did when I came to America. The lights will go out around the world when freedom dies!”
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to spend anymore time taking that freedom for granted. Our veterans have fought long and hard for hundreds of years for us to enjoy the liberty we experience as American citizens and I think the best way to repay them is to not let anyone or anything take that away from us.
At the end of Caroline’s school program, two children began to fold up the American flag like they do at military funerals. As they made each fold they told what each fold represented. It was one of the most moving things I’ve ever heard and I’d never heard it before so I thought I’d share it with y’all.
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a 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 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 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 in to 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 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 tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh 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 twelfth 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.”
I realize this is not my usual kind of post and some of you may not agree with me. And that’s alright.
Because it’s still a free country.
Also, please don’t miss Patricia’s video of the El Salvadoran Singing Bunny. It’s gold.
**Edited to add that Caroline attends public school which is what makes it even more amazing.**
Thank you so much for this post! I tear up everytime I’m at a retirement ceremony and they fold the flag! It’s totally awesome! Have a wonderful week!~Angie
BEAUTIFUL post!!! The part about folding up the flag really got me. I want to copy and paste it and print it out to look at over and over again. thanks for this!
I read the book Hansi when I was in high school. Amazing! Very lovely post today.
Thank you for sharing what each fold of the flag represented. I had no idea. Caroline must attend a Christian school. I can’t imagine our public school being allowed to share such a message (AND THAT IS A SHAME!)
Loved this today…I wrote a Veterans Day post yesterday and read quite a few around on different blogs. I won’t get all political in the comments here but I too feel depressed some days about the direction we are moving as a country. I think for the most part we have no idea how truly free we are. I’m so glad to hear about schools out there honoring the day.
Wonderful post. I am linking to this post because it was the only story I have read about Veteran’s Day school participation…and that bothers me. I agree with Joyce…we have no idea how truly free we are.
I couldn’t agree with you more than I do. I too, worry and pray for the direction our country is heading. Thank you for a wonderful post.
Could NOT agree with you more.
And I repeat, AMEN.
My first graders participated in a Veteran’s Day assembly yesterday, too. We ask the children to bring Veterans from their family or neighborhood to share the program with us. Each year we have these elderly men in their uniforms who still fairly hum with pride over their country. We cannot wait a year to remember all these brave men and women have sacrificed for our country.
thank you,thank you, thank you Melanie for sharing your “serious” side with us today. This was a truly wonderful post. I want to read this book by Hansi. It sounds like somehting this whole nation needs to be exposed to.
And we have a lot of guns, too.:o)
Thanks for the post and the explanation of flag folding – it was beautiful. The explanation makes it hard for someone to have any validity to the argument that we are not a nation founded on Christ.
Have a good day!
As the daughter of a retired Air Force dad, the wife of a retired Air Force husband, daughter-in-law to a retired US Navy seaman, sister-in-law to a retired US Army soldier I come out of lurkdom to say thank you for your heartfelt patriotism. I’m proud to be an American and proud to hear others share that sentiment!
As someone said above. I am just glad they were allowed to do this in school. It must be a private school.
Want to feel depressed about where we are going as a country? Google the Blair Holt Bill or HR 45. As a God fearing Alabama woman, who is married to a gun-toting NRA member we couldn’t be more appalled!
I LOVE the post and I want to print the flag folds out also!!!
Melanie, I think this might be my most favorite post of yours – and I’ve read them all! What a beautiful ceremony you describe – and I had never heard what each fold of the flag means, and I thank you for sharing that!
I’m a military wife, and I appreciate your patriotism. I’m hoping there’s more people like you out there than we realize, and we will soon change the direction of our country!
Again thank you!
Great post! Love your honesty and that you are not afraid in blogland to be you!
Keep it up!
And, on a serious 🙂 note, my 4 1/2 year old (AND husbnd) love Caroline’s pink gun. Did you order it somewhere or did your husband have it painted? My little girl wants one in purple! 🙂
Thanks for sharing the meaning of the folds of the flag. Powerful.
Caroline is in a PUBLIC school. It’s a shame we have come so far as a country that our conclusion is, because something patriotic was done, she is in private school. God help us…literally.
Thanks so much for the info regarding the folding of the American Flag. I am not sure they would be able to mention the word God in my daughter’s school. Have a blessed day.
How amazing that so many of the folds reference God. This is so powerful. It should be reviewed by the President and Congress.
At the beginning of this post you need to add a tissue disclaimer.
This post really got me!
I loved reading about the folds and what they represent.
I’m so proud to have a daughter and son-in-law in the Army National Guard.
Praise the Lord that this can still be stated in a public school! Texas rocks!!
Last year for Veterns Day my Brownie Troop lead a little program for our entire elementary school. The principal asked us to have a flag ceremony, sing a few songs and then fold the flag. For a group of 3rd graders this was big stuff. The principal said she had a little something to say at the end and then she read the same poem about the folds of the flag that you wrote. It made my heart sing and my tears flow.
Thanks for the reminder.
We attend public school too!
As a daughter and wife of gun toting, NRA carrying, Ducks unlimited members. I am in awe and in praise that Caroline’s school is still “allowing” God to be referenced.
I got a lump in my throat reading it out of happiness. And I got a lump in my throat writing this out of sadness. Sadness that we are all so amazed that a public school is allowing God in.
I had never heard of the folds representing all those things. I would have been a huge big ol’ mess of tears throughout the entire thing.
Before I was a mom I was a teacher in an elementary school in a town that has a very high Somali population and some that had escaped Kosovo and Rowanda and were here as refugees. The entire fourth and fifth grade sang “Proud To Be An American” and let me tell you to see all the different colors of children and different religious garb singing that song made me a puddle, just a puddle. I wanted to go up and squeeze every one of them!
I read “Hansi, The Girl Who Loved The Swastika” when I was younger. She is amazing and I’m jealous that your husband got to meet her.
That’s so awesome. I’m blown away and yet so grateful that she and the other children were able to experience that. BTW I’m a born Alabamian and live in TN and the proud sister of a United States Marine 🙂
Oh and look on Amazon for the children’s story about Nubs: a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle.
I’m embarassed to admit that I was a military wife for 5 years and my husband was even on the color guard and I had know idea what the folds in the flag represented. I’m going to copy it and save it.
This post was fabulous! Thank you! I think more people probably agree with it than you think. The thing is nowadays is that it’s not politically correct to say so. May more people get the courage to speak out like you have today! Our country is depending on it!
I had no idea about the folds of the flag, so thank you for sharing that! My husband was in the Navy, and my grandmother’s brother (whom I obviously never knew) was shot and killed when he returned home from Korea. I am of the opinion that, regardless of our political views, we should always support our troops, for they are just doing the job they are assigned to do.
the domestic fringe
Wow! I never knew what the folds of the flag represented. That’s not only beautiful, but amazing. Thank you for educating us. Two men from the Army folded the flag at my grandfather’s funeral and then presented it to my grandmother. I wish I had known this then, because I think I would have read it everyone present.
Beautiful post! I love that this happened during a public school program. I work as an elementary school counselor in Alabama, and I am positive this would never be allowed at my school – how heartbreaking that it wouldn’t be. Thank you for sharing that!
At my daughter’s school Veteran’s program, they all dressed so that when they stood together they looked like a flag on the stage (it was so sweet), and they had all the parents and grandparents who were or did serve come dressed in uniform. They had each branch stand while they sang, and I have got to admit that I CRIED through the whole thing. The kids would burst into smiles and clap as each branch stood up, and it was so emotional. I felt such pride and connectedness to the group, and it was just beautiful.
So I get where you are coming from! We have a bright future in God’s hands, and I sense that our children will carry out a legacy of love that we may have not expected out of them.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the program. I had no idea what the folds represented. Thank God and all of the men and women who have served our country for our continued freedom! May we never take it for granted!!
I was totally going to ask if Caroline attends a public school. Wow. That is amazing and so touching. I’ve got tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing with us.
There IS still hope for America – and it’s because of our great God and the people who still love Him and serve Him. Thank you for your wise words. (I’m not a Texan or NASCAR fan – but can totally relate on the whole arsenal thing — 🙂
I like hearing that.
One of my daughter’s (a high school junior) traveled around to 2 elementary schools yesterday. She is in a Swing Choir that performs shows throughout the year.
She said the same thing about the Veteran’s Day programs she was a part of.
They were the best ever!
I really love hearing that. Things seem to be so out of control in our country right now. We must pray for our leaders and do our part to make our country better.
I have never heard that folding thing. How cool is that? AND how cool is it that a public school did that for their program? It gives me hope for the next generation!
Could NOT agree with you more.
Thank you so much for sharing this, it does show that there is still hope for this country. With 2 little kids it scares me to think of what their lives will be like in 20 or 30 years.
Bonky and Chonky's Mama
Thank you for doing this post. I enjoy your normal, fun stuff and your sarcasm, but this was a great post. I stand on the same side of the aisle.
I loved this! I was aware that each precise fold of the flag represented something, but had no idea HOW detailed it was (I shouldn’t be surprised, but I was!).
Thank you for sharing!
Thank you!! Great post, thanks for sharing.
Wow! I have goose bumps from reading this post. I MOST DEFINITELY AGREE with you. The whole time I was reading I was wondering if Caroline attended a Christian school. What a blessing to know there are still public schools who don’t compromise. God Bless the USA!!!
Veteran’s Day is such a great day! My son’s birthday is November 11th, so he never gets mail on his birthday. Last year, he asked why, and we got to explain to him what a Veteran was. There is such joy in explaining why we have freedom.
Totally awesome that they did a ceremony like that at a public school. My husband and I were just talking last night – while watching the news – that it is such a shame that a neighboring school district (I am in the Ft. Worth area) is preparing for a Christmas program, but not allowing the children to say the word “Christmas”. In the song, “I’ll be home for Christmas”, they changed the word to “Winter”. I don’t understand why they feel like they should cater to the “minority”. (I am Hispanic, so I don’t mean it in that sense.)
Freedom of speech has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s really freedom for whoever is in charge. SO pathetic!
Thank you so much for sharing that story. We need to let our voices be heard if we are going to have any hope of turning our country around.
Love this post! I especially appreciate it as the mom of 2 Marines, one just recently returned from his 2nd deployment. When my kids were in elementary school they did Veteran’s Day assemblies too and they were always so sweet. Nothing like seeing a bunch of kids dressed in red, white and blue, waving flags and singing to their veteran family members to get you all choked up. Oh, and mine are in public school too. Love our Texas schools. 🙂
Wow. I agree with you 100%, but all I can say is Wow. I cannot believe that kind of production was done at a public school. No wonder my husband wants to move to Texas…(currently we’re in MI, and this state has gone-to-pot.)
I would rather die free, than live in bondage to a government determined to take that freedom away.
That was the best Veteran’s day post I’ve read.
Thanks, Melanie, for reminding us all what this country was founded on, and should be fighting for.
Thank you, thank you for posting that. I never knew that the folds represented something and want my kids to know as well. I’ve linked to your blog from mine today.
Proud to be an American!
God bless your heart and God bless that school!
I have tears in my eyes (and I’m usually not the emotional sort).
Makes me want to move to Texas!
I am so grateful for our Veterans and their sacrifices for my freedoms…I know many do, but I do not take them for granted! I hope and pray that people in our Country wake up and stir out of their apathy to realize what’s at stake in our great nation! I have, however, heard many stories, like this post, recently, which have encouraged my heart…and I think the sleeping giant of silent majority just may be awakening in the USA…I hope so, anyway.
Love your blog! Appreciate your guts and sincerity, too…I’m grateful for families like yours!
Wow. I have tears running down my face reading this….
What a beautiful thing, and that they did this in a public school is AWESOME! I pray that no one ruins a good thing by complaining to the school… it is so sad when that happens!
God Bless you today!
(ps- printing the flag folding thing before some *liberal* thinks it needs to be changed!)
Thank you so much for that! If I were you I’d be in contact with that principal and tell them how much you appreciate that program. I’m homeschooling because I was sure that was the only way my daughter will ever learn about that sort of stuff. Loved the post! Don’t ever hesitate to post like this again!
Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.
The flag ceremony made me tear up. I have watched the flag being folded over several relatives coffins. It is so moving and I had never seen or heard what each fold means.
As a retired teacher I got weary of the mandates that we used to get but I think the one that every school should recognize Veteran’s Day was a great mandate. We all need to remember what we have given up to be free. I am the mother of a Marine Corps veteran and I am very proud of his peace time service.
I too worry about the direction of the country. I live in Missouri and am married to a guy who also owns much weaponry and watches NASCAR. We need to say may God Bless America every day.
My friend sent me your post. Really Lovely. Every school in my small town (one each of Primary, Elementary, Middle and High)holds a Veteran’s Day Assmebely. Have had for years..always very moving. This years speaker was a man who’s brother was and MIA in Vietnam. He told the story of how our government, along with Vietnam and Laos worked to bring his brother’s remains home. Very moving. My daughter said many of the kids cried (as well as most of the adults). Another amazing thing…about my town…is that all of the schools have a CHRISTMAS Program every year! With CHRISTMAS SONGS and everything! I have heard people from our neighboring larger town (a politcally correct college town) tell me they come to one of my town’s programs every year even though they don’t know a child in the program, just so they can experience a SCHOOL CHRISTMAS program. We cherish it every year and pray that the ball won’t drop, and that political correctness won’t creep on over to our town from the next one over and put an end to it. Thank you for sharing and for the expanation of the folding of the flag. I didn’t know, or if I did, I had forgotten. Good to be reminded!
I had to come out of hiding to say that this post truly touched me. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!! and P.S. I love your blog!!!!
Wow. I had never heard that about folding the flag. How interesting. And beautiful. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.
I read everyday…almost never comment, but today I must. Brilliant post, Melanie. Brilliant. Thank you for speaking the truth.
oh weeping over here!!
so thankful for our military..past and present!
so i want to say to you thank you for sharing your heart on this!!
this post gave me chills reading about the folding of the flag!!!
I am in awe, seriously. Thank you for sharing. Everyone is so worried about being PC around here that this would NEVER happen (especially in a “liberal state” where I live – I’ll digress). If our taxes weren’t so high I would send my sons to private school where we can say MERRY CHRISTMAS and GOD BLESS AMERICA without worrying about offending someone. Oh, yes, I said I would digress…it’s hard. Anyway, thanks! This was beautiful. I had no idea bout the folds in the flags.
Thanks for this post. I attended a Congressional Town Hall meeting last night and was encouraged that we do still have leaders voting by strong moral principles and sane economic principles. We just need MORE of those kinds of leaders! He made some encouraging statements about the American People and reminded us that we have a representative democracy. We choose who we want to represent us. Choose wisely…be informed.
Love that the amazing tribute happened in a school that taxes paid for — so very right, but unfortunately, rare.
I LOVE that this was in a public school!!!!!
Thank you for sharing! Let that principal know how great that was. The administration of the school needs to know the positive impact of the program.
I am excited to know that took place in the public school!
AMEN, Sister!! I will read the folding of the flag to the gals who are coming over tonight for prayer. We’re so concerned about the direction of this Country that we’re faithfully gathering to pray. Also, in my Beth Moore study on Esther these last few weeks, after three days of prayer and fasting, Esther went to the king – and going before the king was a BIG deal! What I’m saying is that I believe prayer and fasting are mighty and I would ask you all to consider faithfully doing this on behalf of our precious land that we love!! Blessings to all of you.
Wonderful post. I had never heard any of the symbolism behind the folding of the flag either.
And thank you for posting on such a serious matter. i also find that I avoid politics on my blog, but sometimes things need to be said. I also agree that our apathy is jeopardizing our freedoms in this country.
Keep up the great work!
Married to an Aussie in OK
That’s awesome! I never knew the folds meant things!
Thank you! What a great way to learn to honor our country and those who have helped make it great. I know you are busy – but if you get a chance you can read about our project to honor those who have served our country by giving them quilts, on my blog.
Great post, Melanie!
Great post Melanine! Sounds like that was an awesome learning day for the kids and parents. I had no idea that there was meaning behind the folds. I do want to point out that patriotism has no political side. As someone who is on the other side of the fence, I too love my country. And as both the daughter and wife of veterans, I can personally relate to their sacrfices and appreciate them beyond words.
Thank you! I am so glad that there are PUBLIC schools that are teaching kids about our true military heritage. My husband was a Marine and my brother is in the Air Force, and it breaks my heart when I hear that our military is degraded and unappreciated.
Oh my goodness! I knew that each fold meant something but had no idea what it was. Thank you so much for passing that on to us!
Absolutely amazing and so beautiful!!!!!! 🙂
I am speechless.
In a good way.
Thanks for posting this!
BTW, I would personally write and thank the school if I knew where it was…but I can also appreciate you not wanting to post the name! Maybe you could link all of these positive comments to the principal and thank them for us…
What an amazing post! I had no idea the folds of the flag had meaning. Thanks for letting us in your heart.
You made my day. Thank you SO much for sharing this!
Wonderful post. And totally amazing that it happened in a public school. Here in Austin…Veteran’s Day has never, ever been celebrated at school. But we have an awesome Chinese New Year party 😉
when my youngest was in elem school, she had a principal who was always afraid to “offend.” so every program was homogenized & pc. the new principal is thoughtful and caring, but doesn’t get paralyzed anticipating one person making a fuss. she truly runs the school for the benefit of the kids’ learning.
i’ve been writing thank you notes and making calls today, to encourage and thank teachers, principals, and yes, school boards for honoring our founders, history, and contemporary heroes. we can be vocal and not shrewish, americans and not ugly, patriots and not offensive. kids need this from us adults.
thanks, melanie. your views are appreciated.
This is the best Veteran’s Day post I’ve read so far. It did make me cry. I am proud to serve. We military don’t always agree with what’s going on either but one thing that we do agree on is I am fighting for our freedom.
Judy @ Just Enough Light
Awesome post. I really do think that we as Americans take what we have too for granted. (terrible grammar, I know, but you get my point) I met Hansi before!!! She spoke at our church when we lived in Singapore! She even autographed her book for me. I was very moved by her perspective. I may have to read that book again. Terrific Veterans days you all had.
Your post was lovely. I’m glad we can agree to disagree on the politics…because as you said it is a free country. I am surprised that was done at a public school. We send our daughter to private school because I want her to recite the pledge of Allegiance every morning and begin each meal with a prayer,…not just at home but school too. I may not be a Texan gun toting, NRA, NASCAR fan or even a republican but I still honor each and every soldier who gives/gave the ultimate sacrifice for me and my family the right to live in a free country. Amen.
Thanks for sharing the flag fold meaning I did not know that.
This post brought tears to my eyes and gave me chills. It is so great to be reminded of what the price of our freedom is. Not to mention this country was built on the belief “In God We Trust.”
Thank you for sharing this. I truly wish I could’ve seen the program.
Phenomenal post – couldn’t agree with you more! Thanks for sharing … we need more people sharing this type of information with our children.
Awesome post!! Thanks for sharing!
Amanda @ Serenity Now
We’re clinging to our God and our guns here in Virginia. 😉
I was listening to Glenn Beck this morning, and I loved the way he put it: “The parties are not important. It’s the values.” I think both parties are completely messed up and out of touch with the majority of Americans.
The Democrats of my grandparents’ day would be ideologically lined up with today’s Republicans. I’ve heard several times that JFK would be considered too conservative for even some of today’s Republicans.
I do NOT consider myself a Republican anymore. I’m a Conservative who is waiting for someone to step up, do what’s right, and listen to the American people. I think we were complacent for too long, and are only just now starting to wake up and see our Freedoms slowly slipping from our fingers.
We need to listen to people like Grandma Hansi and stand up for Freedom before it’s too late.
Thank you for posting from your heart. 🙂
Lump in my throat reading the meanings behind the folding of the flag.
My Dad was a marine and they did this at his funeral six years ago. I had no idea of the symbolic meanings.
I’m so glad Caroline’s school had a Veteran’s Day assembly. I had heard of the folds’ meanings, but was glad to read them again. =)
I’m a teacher (in Texas) and at our school we collected items for Moms of Marines to send overseas. Each grade level was in charge of different items from toothpaste to socks to candy. There were several large boxes decked out in patriotic colors throughout the building. They were all FULL! We’re not a very large school, so it was awesome to see the amount of support for our military.
I saw one comment about sending children to private school so they can say the Pledge of Allegiance and pray. In Texas, it is state law to say the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas pledge and have a moment of silence every day. The moment of silence is to give anyone the time to pray that would like to do so. On the first day of school, I explain that to my students so they know they are free to pray then if they would like to and I model bowing my head. Just an FYI.
Outstandingly said. Couldn’t agree more, and kudos to the public school system! You had me laughing out loud (WE WATCH NASCAR = political affiliation confirmed) and crying in the next minute. I must read that Hansi book and look at the blog. Thanks for sharing! God Bless!
My husband was given the flag after his fathers death. We have it in a case in our living room. It will have even more meaning now.
AMEN! I loved the post… and I’m thrilled that there are still public schools out there that allow God’s name to be spoken in reverence. I live in California, and I doubt that assembly would be happening here.
That is so awesome that a public school mentions God. My kids attended public school this year for the first time after attending a private school. They get all upset when they come home and the songs they are singing for the “holiday” program are changed to take out the words “Christmas” and “God”. I tell them to just sing them the way they know!
this post was so encouraging!! thank you for writing out what all the folds in the flag meant. I’d never heard that before!
Recently, I’ve finished reading “The Hiding Place” and just began a little background on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. My sense is that we’re at the beginning of what happenen in WW2. What an opportunity for all of us as the Church to move, in Love, back toward the Freedom that was so painfully purchased for us years ago. I am certain, based on these brothers and sisters that have gone before and their testamonies, this journey is not for the faint of heart and will require great staminia and courage!!! I, too, am ready to stop taking freedom for granted.
Sounds like a wonderful and moving celebration. Thanks for sharing with us!
Shelly the Chic Crafty Chick
That is just beautiful. I’ve never heard that before about what the different folds mean. I am so grateful for all our veteran’s. We are very blessed here in our country.
Lemonade Makin' Mama
Hey, it’s fun to take a detour of your usual post style and have a little heart to heart!
We have no idea how good we have it here in this country.
Thank you SO much for sharing!!! Love that was done in a public school…I wish all public schools had that courage!
Bravo! So grateful to all who have served. What a wonderful tribute at your daughter’s school!
I am thankful to have been born in North America, and to the freedoms and privileges that I am afforded here. However, I have a hard time reconciling the loving nature of God for humanity (ALL humanity) with the “God bless America” attitude which seemingly believes that we (Americans) deserve freedom at the expense of the rest of God’s creation.
As I struggle with this seeming paradox, this hymn has helped me to express the way I feel about the world.
This is my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands a-far and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating,
with hope and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine;
o hear my song, though God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.
May truth and freedom come to every nation!
May peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in it’s love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.
I appreciate your blog, and enjoy reading it daily. I’m not trying to start a riot :), but felt that i needed to write something expressing my gratitude for our nation, and my love and deep concern for all the other peoples of the earth.
I am SO GLAD you took a political stance today. It’s o.k. to go out on a limb every now and then. Besides, this is important.
Veteran’s Day is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays just because there is so much rich meaning behind it and none of the other “stuff.” Just deep appreciation, and that’s as it should be.
Thank you for sharing the flag folding ceremony, too. I want to share that with my kids.
I’ll be linking up to your post tomorrow.
This was an awesome post, thank you! I did not know what the folds stand for and I have never seen it done in person, what an amazing thing for a public school to do!!
Thank you for the wonderful post. I especially appreciate the meaning of the folding of the flag. Beautiful!
Yesterday was grandparents day at the school our grandchildren go to school in Indiana. They also had a Veteran’s Day program. They sang at least 4 songs that included God…God bless the USA, God bless America and others. It was hard to sing with the lump in my throat, I know not every public school is allowed to do this. I am so thankful to have been a part of this.
I so enjoy your blog, I try to read it in the mornings and it brightens my day.
I would have been darn proud too! Maybe there’s still hope for public schools afterall.
Love it! I agree with the above commenter who said the post needs a tissue disclaimer at the beginning! 😉 I’d never heard the explanation of the flag folds – that was very moving. Kudos to Caroline’s school for doing such a great tribute.
I’m so glad you posted this, Melanie. I’ve never heard it either, but it just further confirms the fact that we are a Christian nation, no matter what leaders try to say. We were founded on Christian beliefs and no matter who is physically in charge, I don’t believe that will ever change.
That quote from Grandma Hansi is so powerful–and accurate. I think I remember hearing of her before but now I want to go back and read her story!
On a side note, I think Texan public schools are much more patriotic then New England public schools. Not that thats really a surprise seeing how *a certain state* felt the need to have Ted Kennedy as a senator for 50 years, but I’m just saying. I’m so glad my family is homeschooled so we’ve always been able to learn things not taught or celebrated in the public school!
I’m proud to be a Texan and I’m proud to send my son to public school! And I’m also very proud to be a patriotic Democrat!
Love your blog!
Wonderful post! Keep it up!
I just read Amanda’s post above. Thanks for expressing they way I feel much more eloquently than I can. That is one of my favorite hymns of all time!
Do you think the ACLU will be at Caroline’s school tomorrow? I’m proud of her school for not backing down!
It is never to late to post something so amazing!!!!
I love how you delicately navigate the “political issue” – yet describe your family in such a way that allows your readers to either IDENTIFY with you…or disagree with you. GOD BLESS all the service people that for hundreds of years have made sacrifices that have allowed us the FREEDOM to be the people we are!
Wow, thanks so much for sharing! I never knew that each fold of the flag represented something. It is amazing and encouraging that this cermony was at a public school. It reminds me that in spite of circumstances, God is ultimately in control.
This post made me tear up a bit because I am so proud to be an American and I know so many who are not. I wish my child could go to a school where it wouldn’t be frowned upon to have such a wonderful tribute to our veterans. thanks for sharing.
Pretty cool. I’m sure based on your comments that you and I would disagree on much politically, but that’s okay:)
I do find it sad that so any people assumed it must be a private school…didn’t even cross my mind that it was anything other than public. The best high school concert I ever attended was at a public school, and it was almost all old spirituals. I think, out of fear, we sometimes imagine that things are worse than they are.
Without getting political, I do want to offer a caution to everyone: Scripture makes it very clear that God does not ever give us a spirit of fear. So if you are fearful about the current state of things or making decisions based on fear…stop it!:) That fear is not coming from God — there is no reason for us to fear. God’s still on His throne, y’all, no matter who’s on a throne down here:)
Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing and reminding us all what is most important in life.
WOW–Good for your daughter’s school! Even in mostly conservative Idaho they don’t do things like that! Makes me even prouder to be an American!
Please don’t mention the school name!!! EVER. The loonies in the media would most likely trample on them like rag dolls and the crucify them for no less than a week during the nightly news and then the ACLU would be all, ” you’ve violated all the non-Christian’s rights” by mentioning God. It would get very ugly.
Thanks for the post. I do send my kids to Christian school because a program like that wouldn’t fly well around here and I’m in the middle of the Georgia Bible Belt 🙁
I am 71 yrs. old and never have heard of the folds meanings. It saddens me as a former teacher because I missed being able to pass this on to the students.
Thank you for taking the time to post this.
Thank you for the beautiful post. Poor Grandma Hansi, I think you’ve quite overloaded her bandwidth!
First time I have been so moved to comment. I completely support this post. Thank you for sharing all you did. I could not agree more….
Sheryl in WA
I have long loved your blog since I found you thru PW. Thank you for this post. this comment would be much easier to type if I weren’t trying to see my keyboard thru the tears. I’m with you all the way, sister. Thanks for this incedible post. Whether you believe in God or not, whether you think God should be allowed in school or not, republican or democrat, I think we need to wake up as a nation and realize that our freedom came with a price and we need to ask ourselves: Do we really want to give it up so easily? I don’t. Thanks, Melanie.
Sometimes I feel as though we must be living parallel lives…although I wish I had just a small piece of your fashion sense! I have a 2nd grade daughter who has been singing “Wild Blue Yonder” for several weeks as well. The Veteran’s Day program our school put on was awesome as well. I was moved to tears MANY times during the program, as well as while reading your post! Well said!
Beautiful post! We take so much for granted.
And I have to tell you that I went to Bammel in 3rd grade, and my mom taught there for years and years. Her name is Robyn Liane. I still remember the principal (Karen Something?) with her 14k gold pinky fingernail!
Your blog always makes me belly laugh! Thanks for sharing your heart.
Wow! Thank you for writing this. You are brave to take your stand and I applaud you for it.
How did her school do this program without the watchdogs coming out to arrest the organizers? Bravo to you AND Caroline’s school!
Thank you for sharing what may be your best post ever, and that’s saying something. My kids also attended public school, in the rural south, and they still pray at special events BECAUSE THE STUDENTS ASK TO. There may be hope for us after all with the upcoming generation, since my generation seems to have blown it.
Wow. Just wow.
I don’t watch NASCAR and I’m a liberal, and I thought that was a beautiful lesson on the flag that waves for us all.
Beautiful post. Ask anyone who knows me- God Bless the USA is actually my favorite song. 2nd favorite is The National Anthem. For real. That might be a little weird, but I LOVE our country; (and luckily I happen to like lots of other songs and/or types of music as well:) Anyway, this was beautiful and I cried reading it. I have never heard the meaning behind the flag fold. I guess I never thought about it before. I love it- thanks for sharing.
Oh there’s far more of us then what most of y’all realize. The next few elections are critical. Do not sit them out; I’d encourage eveyone to start getting active, and not be afraid to voice your opinion, Here in southern California, I have come across many people who think they are alone in their views, because no one else will speak up. They won’t vote, because they figure it’s not going to count, since no one else feels the way they do….please, please….talk about your views, let others know their vote is important!
Thanks for an incredible post, Melanie!
From the wife of a soldier, thank you.
From the parent of another public school kid , thank you.
And from the mom who thought she was going to DIE if she heard “God Bless America” from the backseat one more time. amen!
Well said! Couldn’t agree more…well, except about watching NASCAR. 😉
This is a beautiful post and very moving. I had no idea that there was meaning for each fold of the flag. You have exposed an emerging realization that our precious freedoms seem to be slipping away. But take heart, people, we still have the power of the ballot box and there’s still time to save us.
btw, I’m surprised the school wasn’t arrested for this because it is just so dangerous and offensive.
When a blogger upsets me or makes me angry, I usually just stop reading. After all, a person’s blog is their own space, and I’m hardly an Internet crusader. But I do need to point out that the third-to-last line of your post is incorrect: For the millions of grown Americans out there who pay their taxes and vote and go to jury duty and are good citizens like their parents always taught them to be yet still cannot marry the person of their choice, this is not a free country. Yet.
I am proud to be a TEXAN AMERICAN. I know freedom isn’t free. Thanks for a beautiful, honest post.
Love it, Melanie! Thanks so much for sharing.
Awesome…. just plain AWESOME… please thank your school staff for choosing to be true AMERICANS and allowing children to learn what Veterans Day is about. Those things are plain and simple facts that each child should learn about. Those are things to be proud of and children SHOULD be proud of their country. We should ALL be proud of AMERICA and what she has suffered to be FREE.
thanks for sharing about the folds. that’s awesome. And you are blessed to live in Texas where the public schools still honor God. Not so here in other parts of the country.
My mom commented last night that she was shocked to hear of so many schools here in OK having Veterans Day programs that she didnt ever remember us having them….
My kids have had them every year and so do all of the little schools around us. I am glad we live in the country and that their schools still teach all about patriotism, and God, and family, and country…..I won’t mention names either because I am thrilled to have such an awesome school.
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
Alright, we’re moving to TX just so my kids can go to this school!
My kid did a coloring page for Veteran’s day.
Wonderful post Melanie, makes me proud to be a Texan & American! Thank you for sharing.
I’m coming out of the shadows to say:
1. I LOVE your blog! and I read several. There are so many reasons to love it, the humor, the variety, the honesty, the fashion tips. But next to the sarcastic, laugh-out-loud wit you possess, you my lady, have a gift for creatively weaving together seemingly unrelated topics into cohesive & fluid post. Like a good episode of Seinfeld–3 stories converging into one moment of wonderment and suprise.
2. To the embarrassment of my children, I crumble into a teary mess of unparalleled patriotism at the sight of a flag, a soldier, a military parade or band, or a national monument. I nearly die every time I go the airport and watch the families saying good’bye to loved ones being deployed.
3. As moving as they are, the “meaning of the folds” isn’t part of the original ceremony or the tradition of the flag folding. These were added later. Much like the “tradition of the candy cane”, this is invented symbolism. Not a bad thing, I just think that needs to be clarified.
4. “Where’s that man who’s usually here” I’m still laughing at that line…..
You hit this one out of the park, Melanie.
Excellent. And I loved the meaning of the folds of the flag. Never knew that.
Amy @ Cheeky Cocoa Beans
Beautiful post!! Thank you for sharing this.
First time I have ever written you…after finding your blog through Kelly’s Korner maybe 14 months ago! Anyways…could tell you LOVED Jesus! Awesome! You crack me up and I love to laugh about your cute daughter! But today was the first time I felt I had to write. That was amazing about the flag folds! I had NEVER heard that….our country is going in the wrong way!!!! America needs to WAKE UP!!!
We attend Mars Hill Church in Seattle. You can log on to MarsHillChurch.org and dowload sermons and music free. Our preaching Pastor is an amazing teacher!
Love your site…thanks.
P.S. A real way to show your appreciation to our marvelous soldiers is to do what a lady on Fox News does and what I have done several times and it’s this: when you see a person in uniform in a restaurant, ask the waiter to bring YOU the tab and pay for their meal very quietly. You will be flooded with such a blessed feeling that you can’t wait to do it again! I’ve also been known to walk up to soldiers at airports and, while thanking them for their service, press money into the palm of their hand. After recovering from their shock, they always take it.
Love you all,
SOG (Soldier of God
jenn in tenn
I too had read “Hansi” when I was in elementary school – thanks for the name/memory.
Delurking here to say, “Thank you for writing this post.” It expresses how I have been feeling and did not realize it until you put it into words.
Enjoy your time in Nashville!
Thanks Big Mama! Amazing post! I never knew what all the folding of the flag stood for either . . . thanks for posting, amazing – and no need to apologize – I think you’ll find 99.9% of your readers are right there with you! politically and otherwise!
Thank you for posting this! 🙂
I loved your post. I too, value our freedom. However, after 30 years of voting Republican, I cannot relate to that party and have become firmly independent.
My vote probably canceled your vote, because I may look at some things a little differently. Which is why I treasure a country where we can agree to disagree. Let me just say, ” I may have voted for Obama, but I still love Big Mama.”
He got to meet Hansi. I want to meet Hansi. I read her book a few years ago, and she sounds absolutely amazing.
I agree that people do take our freedom for granted, but I disagree that that performance was in a public school. I know that the majority of Americans do believe in God, but what about the others percentages who do not? We are still American citizens and it’s not fair that my child would have to say those things if she/he were at Caroline’s school because I am NOT religious. I know that I should probably just keep my mouth shut on a post like this and “agree to disagree”, but I can’t and I’m sorry. Although we do disagree on some things, I still subscribe and love reading your blog! Just had to get my opinion out there…
amazing post. fantastic that they did this in a public school. They did nothing wrong by stating what the armed services believe as they fold the flag. Fantastic. Wonderful. In God we trust.
As the daughter of a retired U.S.Marine, the wife of a retired U.S. Army officer, the granddaughter of a U.S. Navy Chief and the niece of a U.S. Air Force veteran, I thank you for your wonderful patriotism. I’ve always been a patriot as it’s a way of life for our family. However, so many have strayed so far from those American roots. It’s good to know that our beloved Big Mama is a patriotic woman. I’ve always loved your blog, now I love it even more. Keep up your wonderful writing!!
It’s so great to know that there are still public schools out there who do what is RIGHT, rather than just what’s POLITICALLY CORRECT! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. 🙂
Love from Michigan,
I am a public school teacher and as I was reading, I said to my husband “I wish I would have planned something like that with my students!” And then I thought, but I teach in a public school that was recently scrutinized because of a prayer that was said, so I wouldn’t be able to do a program like that… which is sad to me. I am glad Caroline goes to school that allowed that. It is important to remember the principles our country is based upon.
And to the post by Julia, respectfully I say to you… the program was not to push views upon anyone. I imagine the program was to teach children what Veteran’s have done for our country, as well as to teach them what our flag represents and why it is treated with such dignity. If people do not care to know what our flag represents, then I would suggest moving to a country that does not have the kind of patriotism Americans have.
Awesome. I did not know that about the folds of the flag. Thank you for sharing.
Mary Grace – I definitely completely understand what the program was about…and I respect Veteran’s 100%. I know that without them, we would not be free and I would not be living MY life without worry during this hard time for military members, friends and families. I don’t think that people shouldn’t learn about the representations of the flag, and I’m not saying I do not care. It’s just my opinion that God, prayer, and ALL religion for that matter (well, not if you’re going to teach about it) needs to be left out of public schools.
Beautiful post! So blessed to live in a country that was founded by God-loving and God-fearing men. I pray this blessing will return to our country.
Thank you so much for sharing this – I was not aware of the meaning of the folds in the flag. My father was presented with one at his father’s funeral (my grandfather was a WWII vet) and this post has given a whole new meaning to that memory.
I can never figure out why so many people feel that being patriotic and supporting our selfless military must go hand in hand with being Christian and believing in the same kind of God.
Kind of sad that so many are still trying to put that limitation on this wonderful country that ALL of our ancestors fought so hard to be a part of and so many came to to avoid religious prejudice.
Beautiful. And you made me cry. Darn it. Its important to me that what has been done and is being done to protect this country day in and day out is recognized. My husband in currently in Iraq, and this was a blessing.
Wow! What a great post. So moving. I am scared for our Country. We can’t sit around and wait for our freedom to be taken away. We have to stand up and fight and I am ready.
Just because someone may not be a conservative, it does not mean they are not patriotic or wouldn’t be moved by the type of ceremony that you’re talking about. That’s assuming a lot.