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NOVEMBER 11 ... A Day Of Remembrance

13 November 1982
Dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Joseph Ambrose, an 86-year-old World War I veteran, holds the folded flag that covered the casket of his son who was killed in the Korean War.

old comrades
Veterans' Day

In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war, an armistice was signed. The 'war to end all wars' was over.

November 11 was set aside as Armistice Day in the United States, to remember the sacrifices that men and women made during the war in order to ensure a lasting peace.

Congress voted Armistice Day a legal holiday in 1938, twenty years after the war ended. But Americans realized that the previous war would not be the last one. World War II began the following year, and nations great and small again participated in a bloody struggle. After the Second World War, Armistice Day continued to be observed on November 11.

In 1953 townspeople in Emporia, Kansas called the holiday Veterans' Day in gratitude to the veterans in their town. Soon after, Congress passed a bill introduced by a Kansas congressman renaming the national holiday to Veterans' Day.

In remembrance of

My Uncle, DeKalb Dennis, Holdenville Oklahoma, Sgt. 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma National Guard, who slowly died of wounds received fighting the Waffen SS in September 1943, near Salerno.

My Cousin, Niels Iver Qvistgaard, Copenhagen Denmark, Cpl. USMC, who was killed in action in the 1st Marine Division in Korea, 10/26/52.

My best friends, Ron Cashman and Eddie Wright, dinkum Diggers in 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, '51-'53 (Several times wounded in action, Lifetime mates, passed away within weeks of each other in 2006).

All ships, their crews and squadrons I was privileged to serve with.

And with respect to all who ever honorably served in the American armed forces, at any time.

Birchard Lee Kortegaard

Subject: "What is the meaning of the folds of the flag that drape a casket?"

The premise is simple: the folds represent the same religious principles on which our nation was originally founded. When completely folded the flag will be in a "cocked hat" shape, with the blue canton denoting honor, and the blue contains the stars which represent the States the veteran fought for when wearing a uniform of the country's military services. The meaning of the folds are:
   First fold -- Symbol of life.
   Second fold -- Belief in eternal life
   Third fold -- Honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of his/her life for the defense of our country
   Fourth fold -- Represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to God we turn to in times of peace, as in time of war, for divine guidance
   Fifth fold -- Represents our country; "...still our country, right or wrong."
   Sixth fold -- Where our hearts lie, account it is with our hearts we pledge our allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
   Seventh fold -- Tribute to the Armed Forces of our country who protect our country and flag against enemies, within and without the Republic.
   Eighth fold -- To honor the mother of the veteran.
   Ninth fold -- Honoring American womanhood through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion to the character of the men and women they have molded.
   Tenth -- Tribute to fathers, for they too, have given their sons and daughters for the defense of the country.
   Eleventh fold -- Glorifying the God of the Hebrews of the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. Twelfth fold -- Glorifying the God of the New Testament, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded the blue canton and stars are uppermost, reminding us of your national motto: "In God We Trust." When properly folded and tucked it looks like a cocked hat, reminding us of soldiers who served under General George Washington, and sailors and marines who served under John Paul Jones. They, followed by comrades, shipmates and airmen today, have preserved for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

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