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American veterans remember their own

Burt Gividen, left, and Pete Workman fold the flag with other members of the American Legion during an assembly in Orem.
Burt Gividen, left, and Pete Workman fold the flag with other members of the American Legion during an assembly in Orem.
Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News

OREM — Students at Lakeridge Junior High School recently witnessed a mock military ceremony to bury soldiers and former soldiers.

Orem American Legion, Post 72, made the presentation, the first of several activities to commemorate Veterans Day.

The school presentation included the posting of the colors, including the American Flag and the flag of the Merchant Marines, recently named the sixth branch of service after Congress recognized the role those men and women played during World War II, post commander Doug Rowley said.

Six students acted as pallbearers as veterans rolled a flag-covered coffin into the school auditorium. Everyone who serves in the military is entitled to a military funeral, Rowley said. That includes a 21-gun salute and presentation of the flag that draped the coffin. The 9-by-12-foot flag is larger than the standard flag.

In addition, each of the 13 folds the flag detail makes carries a special meaning:

"The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

"The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

"The third fold is in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

"The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is in him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for his divine guidance.

"The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephan 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 where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and 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 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 into the valley of death, that we might see the light of day.

"The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, the mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who made this country great has been molded.

"The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

"The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

"The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians' eyes, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

"The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation's motto, 'In God We Trust.' "

Finally, the flag is folded in a triangle, representing a cocked hat, Rowley said. That serves as a reminder of the soldiers who served under Gen. George Washington and the sailors and Marines who served under Capt. John Paul Jones during the Revolutionary War, and the Armed Forces that followed.


E-mail: rodger@desnews.com