On November 11th, I attended a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Santa Clara, California. My husband was playing trumpet in the Cupertino Symphonic Band, and there were quite a few military luminaries there, giving their presentations, awards and recognition. What a fantastic tribute to our fighting forces and those brave souls no longer with us. I’ve never considered myself to be patriotic, but I actually saluted twice during the proceedings, recited “Pledge of Allegiance” and sang “America The Beautiful”. It felt really great, and I surprised myself!
There was a special “retire the flag” observance, and I was reminded of my days as a girl scout, and learning how to respectfully handle the American flag. You’re supposed to lower the flag at sunset, OR make certain that it is illuminated all night long. I watched the servicemen removing “Old Glory” from the flagpole, folding it properly into a tight triangle, and putting it safely away. Then they attached the new American flag, along with a smaller flag and ran them both up the flagpole, which had a sculpture of the American Bald Eagle at the top. The other flag showed words of mild admonishment: “Never Forget Those Who Serve” (I’m not sure of the wording, as I didn’t see it up close.) My gosh, the very idea of forgetting, or neglecting to honor these courageous men and women, brought tears to my eyes. There’s an old saying, entitled “A Rule of Three”…
Three things to Govern: Temper, Tongue and Conduct.
Three things to Cultivate: Courage, Affection and Gentleness.
Three things to Command: Thrift, Industry and Promptness.
Three things to Despise: Cruelty, Arrogance and Ingratitude.
Three things to Wish for: Health, Gracefulness and Beauty.
Three things to Give: Alms to the Needy, Comfort to the Sad, and Appreciation to the Worthy.
This link is an article from Santa Clara Weekly about the service. Also, I found a rendition of “America The Beautiful” that’ll knock your socks off. Enjoy!