Nearly 50 people gathered at the American Legion Post 36 hall in Boothbay for short ceremonies honoring veterans, proper folding of the flag and a traditional flag disposal on Veterans Day Nov. 11. Post Commander David Patch opened the ceremony by leading the Pledge of Allegiance and Doug Gimbel followed with a rendition of the national anthem.
Sergeant-at-arms Chris Armstead led Boy Scout Troop 213 in the flag disposal procession. The first of the flags were collected by Armstead from the Scouts and brought before 1st and 2nd vice commanders, chaplain and post commander. Once the first flag was disposed of, Armstead proceeded to collect the rest from the Scouts and burn those flags.
Patch, Phyllis Curtis, Joe Morley, Robin Ford, Ron Edwards, Chaplain Al Sirois and Armstead, also Americanism officer, spoke on the importance of veterans, the sacrifices they made and their families made in their absence. Said Patch, “We remember how men and women set aside their civilian pursuits to serve their nation's cause defending the freedom of mankind and preserving our precious American heritage … Out of blood and sweat we learned of purpose, sacrifice, tolerance, bravery and discipline. These are solid foundation stones upon which a great nation is built. In our continuing quest for an honorable world peace we must cultivate these virtues.”
Curtis, wife of veteran Robert Curtis, spoke on the challenges those on the home front faced. “We have lived with a terrifying loneliness created to answer an aggressive challenge. In waging war, we have moved forward with a unity of purpose which made us strong forgetting pettiness, nepotism and pride. Our hearts beat in tune with those in other nations fighting for freedom and the dignity and opportunity of mankind. In our constant quest for an honorable world peace, there is need for unity and purpose if we truly are to move toward a brighter tomorrow.”
Patch and Armstead led the flag-folding ceremony with the help of four Boy Scouts of Troop 213. Patch announced the meaning of each of the 13 folds of the flag which, in itself, stands for the original 13 colonies: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.
The first fold is a symbol of life and the second a symbol of belief in eternal life. The third fold is in honor and remembrance of veterans departed; the fourth represents man’s weaker nature; the fifth, a tribute to the nation; the sixth, the Pledge; the seventh, a tribute to armed forces; the eighth, a tribute to “the one who entered the valley of the shadow of death”; the ninth, to womanhood; the tenth, to fatherhood; the eleventh represents the lower part of Kings David and Solomon’s seal; the twelfth represents the holy trinity.
Patch recited, “The 13th and last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, ‘In God We Trust.’”