The American Flag: 13 Folds of Honor

Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Beverly & Pack via CC Flickr

Memorial Day is a day observed by millions of people in the United States of America in remembrance of men and women who sacrificed their time, careers, and lives for their country.  America is not the only country which honors their military…many countries around the world do the same in some fashion.

The history, rituals, and the customs of the United States Military has always fascinated and intrigues me. I hold in highest esteem and respect, all people who have sacrificed their time and/or their lives for their country.

A military tradition that has always been deeply moving to me, is watching the person of a fallen spouse or child, receive the folded American flag during a funeral ceremony.

I often wondered the story behind the folded flag. Why is it folded in that particular manner? What does each fold represent? What is the history behind it?

I recently read a short article on the internet site, Folds of Honor, which answered my questions. It is for this reason that I thought that this would be a great article to share with you. I hope that this story will enlighten and encourage your heart as much as it did mine!

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The folded flag has long been a dual symbol of sacrifice and the cost of freedom as well as hope and admiration for those defending our country. As we transition into using the folded American flag as the Folds of Honor logo, please take a moment to read what each of these folds represents:

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 made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace, as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen 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 for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge 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.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all 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 the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.

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

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

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

The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it has the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under Gen. George Washington and the sailors and Marines who served under Capt. John Paul Jones and were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the U.S. Armed Forces, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

Have a Wonderful Memorial and that the ones who serve for us now and remember the ones who paid the ultimate price for the freedom that we can enjoy today!!

Freedom Comes With A Price

Photo Credit: Wonderlane via CC Flickr
Photo Credit: Wonderlane via CC Flickr

Freedom. There is nothing that is more valued and treasured by an individual. It is that one word that has made millions and millions of people to decide to come to America to live…free to worship, speak, travel, salute the flag, and many, many other wonderful things but freedom is NEVER free! Down through the ages, a great many number of people have sacrificed their lives, their lifestyles, the security of their families and friends…all for the right to enjoy the fruits of Freedom.

We all know about the Declaration of Independence which was created and signed over 200 years ago but what isn’t well known by many people, is the sacrifice and cost that many of the men who signed the declaration suffered.

Kenneth L. Dodge, in his book, Resource, wrote: “Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Their conviction resulted in untold sufferings for themselves and their families. Of the 56 men, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army. Another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the war. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty.

At the battle of Yorktown, the British General Cornwallis had taken over Thomas Nelson’s home for his headquarters. Nelson quietly ordered General George Washington to open fire on the Nelson home. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt. John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and mill were destroyed. For over a year, he lived in forest and caves, returning home only to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion.”

We should all take the time each day to be thankful for the freedom and everything that we have because of the sacrifice of others.

Freedom is a great thing…but so is Sacrifice.

We Need God in America Again!

Photo Credit: Watson Creative Media
Photo Credit: Watson Creative Media

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, First Chief Justice John Jay
Names synonymous with the spirit of our country, the founding fathers of the U.S.A.

Over 200 years ago they shook off the chains of tyranny from Great Britain by divine call. Citing 27 biblical violations they wrote the Declaration of Independence “with liberty and justice for all.”

But something happened since Jefferson called the Bible the cornerstone for American liberty then put it in our schools as a light. Or since “Give me liberty, or give me death,” Patrick Henry said, “Our country was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

We eliminated God from the equation of American life thus eliminating the reason this nation first began…from beyond the grave I hear the voices of our founding fathers plead “We need God in America again.”

Of the 55 men who formed the Constitution, fifty-two were active members of their church. Founding fathers like Noah Webster who wrote the first dictionary, could literally quote the Bible chapter and verse. James Madison said, “We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all our heart.” These men believed you couldn’t even call yourself an American if you subverted the Word of God.

In his farewell address, Washington said, “You can’t have national morality apart from religious principle,” and it’s true ‘Cause right now we have nearly 150,000 kids carrying guns to these war zones we call public schools.

In the ’40’s and ’50’s student problems were chewing gum and talking…in the ’90’s, rape and murder are the trend. The only way this nation can even hope to last this decade Is put God in America again

The only hope for America is Jesus. The only hope for our country is Him. If we repent of our ways stand firm and say, “We need God in America again!

Abe Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government of the next.” So, when you eliminate the Word of God from the classroom and politics, you eliminate the nation that Word protects

America is now number one in teen pregnancy and violent crime. It’s number one in illiteracy, drug use, and divorce. Everyday a new holocaust of 5,000 unborn die, while pornography floods our streets like open sewers. America’s dead and dying hand is on the threshold of the Church. While the spirit of Sodom and Gomorrah vex us all. When it gets to the point where people would rather come out of the closet than clean it…it’s a sign that the judgment of God is going to fall.
If there’s ever been a time to rise up Church, it’s now. And as the blood bought saints of the living God proclaim, it’s time to sound the alarm from the Church house to the White House and say, “We want God in America again”

I believe it’s time for America to stand up and proclaim that “one nation under God” is our demand and send this evil lifestyle back to Satan where it came from and let the Word of God revive our dying land.

Jesus Christ is coming back again in all His glory and every eye shall see Him on that day. That’s why a new anointing of God’s power’s coming on us to boldly tell the world “you must be saved.”

Because astrology won’t save you, your horoscope won’t save you the Bible says these things are all a farce if you’re born again, you don’t need to look to the stars for your answers ’cause you can look to the very One who made those stars!

History tells us time and time again, to live like there’s no God makes you a fool. If you want to see kids live right, stop handing out condoms and start handing out the Word of God in schools.

The only hope for America is Jesus. The only hope for our country is Him. If we repent of our ways, stand firm and say…we need God in America again!

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These are the lyrics from the music artist Carman and his song, “America Again”

Our American Money

Photo Credit:  Petr Kratochvil
Photo Credit:
Petr Kratochvil

I was reading an article yesterday about money written by the folks at didyouknow.org which I though was very interesting and answered some questions that I always had about some money. I thought that people would enjoy reading some of these fascinating facts bout our American money.

It weighs only 0.035 oz (1 gram), is only 16 square inches (0.01m²) in size and consists of cotton and linen but those who do not have it would like to have it and those who have it would like to have more of it. It is the world’s most popular currency: the United States dollar.

Dollar facts

$1

The United States one-dollar bill is the most common denomination of US currency, totaling 45% of all bills ($1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100) produced. There are about 2 billion $1 bills in circulation. 

Like all United States money, the $1 note is produced by the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (with the aptly named web address, moneyfactory) in Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas; they are delivered wrapped in blue straps and has a life span of approximately 5.9 years.

The $1 bill features the portrait of President George Washington.

$2

The $2 bill was discontinued in 1966, but was reintroduced in 1976. Between 1% and 2% of all notes currently produced are $2 bills. They are less used thus it is no surprise that a $2 note lasts up to 15 years.

$2 bills are delivered in green straps.

President Thomas Jefferson is featured on the $2 bill.

$5

Approximately 9% of all United States paper notes are $5 bills. Delivered in red straps, they have an average circulation life of 4.9 years before they are replaced due to wear.

The $5 bill features President Abraham Lincoln, who served as the 16th President of the United States, from March 1861 until his assassination by the well-known actor John Wilkes Booth in April 1865.

$10

Up to 11% of all newly printed U.S. banknotes are $10 bills, delivered in yellow straps. A $10 note is in circulation for about 4.2 years before it is replaced due to wear.

The first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, is featured on the $10 bill. He is the only person featured on U.S. currency who was not born in the continental United States – he was born in the West Indies. His portrait also is the only one that faces to the left on U.S. paper currency in circulation.

In 1804, Hamilton was killed in a duel by Vice President Aaron Burr.

$20

Approximately 22% of all notes printed are $20 bills. They are delivered in violet straps and have a life span of 7.7 years.

The $20 bill is known as “the Jackson” because it features the portrait of President Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States (1829–1837).

$50

Approximately 5% of all notes are $50 bills, which are delivered in brown straps. A $50 note is in circulation for about 3.7 years before it is replaced due to wear.

The 18th President of the United States (1869–1877), Ulysses S. Grant, is featured on the $50 bill.

$100

Approximately 7% of all U.S. notes produced are $100 bills. There are an estimated 9 billion $100 notes in circulation. They make up more than 80% of the value of all U.S. currency in circulation. They also are the notes that overseas people mostly want. Roughly two-thirds of all $100 bills are held outside the United States.

The average life span of a $100 bill is 15 years before it is replaced due to wear and tear.

While printed by the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, most of $100 bills are distributed by the Federal Reserve Cash Office in New York City. According to a NY Fed report (PDF), a typical foreign shipment is a pallet containing 640,000 such notes ($64 million), in bundles bound in mustard-colored straps.

The $100 bill is referred to as a “Benjamin” because it features the portrait of Benjamin Fanklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. It is one of the two notes that does not feature a President of the United States; the other is the $10 bill, featuring Alexander Hamilton.

The $100 bill is also called a “C-Note”, based on the Roman numeral for 100.

n December 2010, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing announced a printing error on a new design of the $100 bill, affecting as much as $110 billion worth of paper and costing the taxpayers 12 cents apiece, or $120 million. According to Wikipedia

The Series 2009 $100 bill redesign was unveiled on April 21, 2010, and was to be issued to the public on February 11, 2011, but production was shut down in December 2010 because as many as 30% were unusable due to a manufacturing flaw. A vertical crease in the paper reveals a blank space on the bill when pulled out. In their replacement, and continuing the high demand of this denomination, the Series 2006A was launched retaining the previous design (1996-generation).

A new $100 note design will enter circulation in October 2013.

Women on American money

All the current money notes feature the potraits of males but women have been featured on currency: Martha Washington, wife of George Washington, appeared on the 1886 and 1891 $1 Silver Certificate. She also appeared together with her husband on the reverse of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1896.

Pochahantas (later known as Rebecca Rolfe when she married John Rolfe in 1614) appears on several pieces of currency.

Factoids

In 1929, U.S. bills shrunk from 7.48 x 3.14 inches (190 x 80mm) to the current size of 6.14 x 2.61 inches (155.956 x 66.294mm).

A money note consists of 25% linen and 75% cotton.

The inclusion of “In God We Trust” on all United States currency was required by law in 1955. The national motto first appeared on paper money in 1957.

Big bucks

The $100 bill is the largest denomination that has been printed since July 14, 1969, when the denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 were retired.

“As of May 30, 2009, there were only 336 of the $10,000 bills in circulation; 342 remaining $5,000 bills; and 165,372 $1,000 bills.”

The $100,000 Gold Certificate, printed from December 18, 1934 to January 9, 1935, is the largest note is but was not for public use – they were used only for transactions between the Federal Reserve Banks.

Funny money

1 in 10,000 $100 bills – the most frequently counterfeited note – is a superdollar, a high quality counterfeit. But there is little chance that you’ll find a superdollar within the borders of the United States. In fact, less than 1/100th of one percent of the approximately $1.1 trillion in circulation are counterfeit because it actually is difficult to copy a dollar note.

So, there you have it…some great facts about our dollar bills and the interesting stories behind each one of them. Hope you enjoyed learning about our cash!

Children Say the Funniest Things (Part One)

Photo Credit: Gary Cook via Wikimedia
Photo Credit: Gary Cook via Wikimedia

I have been a teacher for over 27 years. The one thing that I love to do, is to listen to children say things, such as answering simple questions, with answers that we never saw coming. Sometimes, they are funny in their simplicity. The innocence that they answer things are hilarious.

I found a collection of such things on stargazers.com of some of the humorous things that some young kids said…so, without further ado, here is Part 1 of “Children Say the Funniest Things.” I will be posting the second installment soon.

 

A kindergarten student told his teacher he’d found a cat, but it was dead. “How do you know that the cat was dead?” she asked her student. “Because I pissed in its ear and it didn’t move,” answered the child innocently. “You did WHAT?!?!?!” the teacher yelled in shock. “You know,” explained the boy, “I leaned over and went ‘Pssst!’ and it didn’t move.”

A mother and her young son returned from the grocery store and began putting away the groceries. The boy opened the box of animal crackers and spread them all over the table. “What are you doing?” his mother asked. “The box says not to eat them if the seal is broken” the boy explained. “I’m looking for the seal.”

One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer. She read, “…. and so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” The teacher paused then asked the class, “And what do you think that farmer said?” One little girl raised her hand and said, “I think he said: ‘Oh my goodness…a talking chicken!'”

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.'” Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus.

A father was at the beach with his children when his four-year-old son ran up to him, grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore, where a seagull lay dead in the sand. “Daddy, what happened to him?” the son asked. “He died and went to Heaven,” the dad replied. The boy thought a moment and then said, “Did God throw him back down?”

When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old came into the room when I was just getting ready to get into the shower, she said, “mommy, you are getting fat!” I replied, “Yes, honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy.” “I know,” she replied, but what’s growing in your butt?”

Several years ago, I returned home from a trip just when a storm hit, with crashing thunder and severe lightning. As I came into my bedroom about 2 a.m., I found my two children in bed with my wife, apparently scared by the loud storm. I resigned myself to sleep in the guest bedroom that night. The next day, I talked to the children, and explained that it was O.K. to sleep with Mom when the storm was bad, but when I was expected home, please don’t sleep with Mom that night. They said OK. After my next trip several weeks later, my wife and the children picked me up in the terminal at the appointed time. Since the plane was late, everyone had come into the terminal to wait for my plane’s arrival, along with hundreds of other folks waiting for their arriving passengers. As I entered the waiting area, my son saw me, and came running shouting, ” Hi, Dad! I’ve got some good news!” As I waved back, I said loudly, “What’s the good news?” My son shouted very excitedly, “Nobody slept with Mommy while you were away this time!”

A physician and her 4 year old daughter were in the car on the way to preschool. The doctor/mother had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. “Be still, my heart,” thought the mother, “my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!” Then the child spoke into the instrument: “Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?”

A father was reading Bible stories to his young son. He read, “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.” His son asked, “What happened to the flea?”

TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louis, do you know why his father didn’t punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the ax in his hand.

TEACHER: Clyde, your composition on “My Dog” is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?
CLYDE: No, teacher, it’s the same dog.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher.

TEACHER: Cindy, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
CINDY: You told me to do it without using tables!

TEACHER: Now, Sam, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SAM: No sir, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook.

A little girl asked her mother, “Can I go outside and play with the boys?” Her mother replied, “No, you can’t play with the boys, they’re too rough.” The little girl thought about it for a few moments and asked, “If I can find a smooth one, can I play with him?”

It was the end of the day when a K-9 officer parked his police van in front of the station. While he was gathering his equipment, his K-9 partner started barking at a little boy staring into the van. “Is that a dog you got back there?” he asked the officer. “It sure is,” the officer replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at him and then towards the dog. Finally the boy said, “What’d he do?”

A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

A little girl goes to the barbershop with her father as usual. She stands next to the barber chair eating a snack cake, while her dad gets his hair cut. The barber says to her, “Sweetheart, you’re going to get hair on your Twinkie one of these days.” She says, “Yes, I know, and I’m going to get boobs too.”

A mother was away one weekend at a business conference. During a break, she decided to call home collect. Her six-year-old son picked up the phone and heard a stranger’s voice say “We have a Marcia on the line. Will you accept the charges?” Frantic, he dropped the phone and ran outside screaming, “Dad! Dad! They’ve got mom!! And they want money!!!”