As we consider the young men and women who have fought for our freedom throughout the years, whether overseas or protecting our borders at home, the words “You’re a grand ole’ flag, you’re a high-flying flag” take on special meaning. As Americans – and as people from Wichita, Kansas – our entire team at Downing & Lahey Mortuaries and Crematory are so proud of what our country stands for, proud of the accomplishments our countrymen have achieved, proud of the brave men and women who have fought for our rights, and proud to live in a land that is free.
Our nation’s flag is the symbol of these freedoms and achievements. Whether it is on your storefront or on your front door, an American flag can demonstrate your patriotism for our country. As November 11th is upon us, it is easy to pull out a flag and show our neighbors and friends our American spirit, but keep in mind, it takes more to wave the flag high all year long.
Respecting the Stars and Stripes
Are you aware of the proper flag etiquette? It is important, as Americans, to follow the rules for handling and displaying the flag. Do you know them?
- You should never let the flag touch the ground.
- It should be taken inside at sunset, unless it has a light shining on it.
- The raising and lowering of the flag should be done in a quick, efficient manner.
- Once the flag is down it should immediately be folded and put away.
- A flag should be replaced once it becomes faded, tattered, or torn.
- The old flag should be disposed of in a respectful manner. While there are several ways to respectfully dispose of the American flag, the most common method is burning it in a special ceremony.
Honoring and Remembering Our Veterans
Our funeral home also has a year-long focus on honoring those who have nobly served our country and passed away. At no additional cost, a United States burial flag will be provided and draped on either a casket or urn alongside a veteran. The flag is given as a keepsake to the next-of-kin following the funeral or memorial service.
At Downing & Lahey we also can honor veterans by incorporating a flag ceremony into the funeral. At your request, we will arrange American soldiers to present a loved one with a folded American flag in appreciation from the president and all the citizens of the United States for the deceased’s service for this great country. This touching tribute allows everyone to recognize the deceased’s bravery and remember their accomplishments, while also giving loved ones a very special treasure by which to remember the deceased. This flag can then be placed in a glass case to display at home with other memorabilia from that unforgettable person’s life.
There are other ways you can highlight military accomplishments in their funeral service – it might be displaying their uniform at their visitation, showing photos of them from their military days in a video tribute, or having a special memory table incorporating mementos such as awards, honors, or other items from their time in the service.
And remember that all Americans have the amazing opportunity to display their patriotism by flying the flag high and proud.
“And forever in peace may you wave.”