A heavy morning rainstorm didn’t damper our plans to celebrate the 240th birthday of our beloved nation. Our annual flag raising ceremony was quickly adapted into an indoor program, with several Residents in attendance who haven’t been able to see this ceremony outdoors previously. Since the flag couldn’t be raised in our dining room, we were able to have our flag carefully opened and officially folded instead. We were blessed to have our annual special guests from the Marine Corp League Honor Guard join us again, and as a welcome everyone in attendance sang Battle Hymn of the Republic in unison. After an opening prayer by Resident and veteran Rev. Willie Philips, Resident and veteran Kyle Henderson led us into the Pledge of Allegiance.
Tom Cronin, a Resident and Army veteran led an introduction on all who have served in the military in our Home – Residents and employees alike. Following the veteran introduction, the National Anthem was sung beautifully by Chloe Coates, a friend of the Home.
Residents relished the opportunity to learn the details and significance of the American Flag and its folding ceremony from one of our Marine Corp participants, watching eagerly as the meaning of each of the ceremony’s twelve folds was explained. Our nation, life, women, men, and our God all have dedications in certain folds of the flag. As raindrops pattered against the windows a quiet awe washed over the crowd; gathered together as friends, guests experienced anew the beauty, majesty, and symbolism of the American flag. As the ceremony wound to a close, the Marines explained the custom of holding the folded flag with the stars uppermost, signifying our nation’s motto “In God We Trust,” and Residents gazed on proudly as the bugler played ‘Taps.’
We are so honored by the service of our veterans and thankful to enjoy such a beautiful celebration of our nation despite the drizzly weather.