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Posted: 12/1/2001 9:00:14 PM EDT
I unfortunately just attended the funeral of my grandfather on Thurs. He was a WWII vet (3 years in the South Pacific shooting zeros out of the sky) and had a question about the way the flag was presented to my grandmother. The flag was folded of course then the flag was inspected and presented to another soldier who went to the head of the casket and turned the flag in 1/4 movements in what looked like a circle. Can anyone tell me what this symbolizes? Also anyone know what is inserted in the folded flag before the last "tuck in" the guy took something from inside his glove and tucked it in.
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 9:15:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/1/2001 9:07:20 PM EDT by ColonelKlink]
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 9:20:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ColonelKlink: I am sorry to hear this. You have my condolences. Your grandfather fought bravely for our country. For this I am proud.
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Col. Thank you very much for your kind words...
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 9:25:58 PM EDT
Sorry to hear about your loss.
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 9:37:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 5150BRY: Sorry to hear about your loss.
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Thanks 5150..I'm really bummed..I was all set on getting him a nice M1 for Christmas...He was gonna be 80 this Dec. and he still went out and shot at the range fairly often...course he didn't need no ear protection if ya know what I mean!! Anyways thanks again.
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 9:47:58 PM EDT
Tony, God Bless your Grandfather for serving our nation. It IS very appreciated! I don't know if this will help answer any of your questions, but it might [url] http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/folds.htm [/url]
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 9:51:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 10:28:02 PM EDT
Having been OIC of hundreds of military funerals in my LT days, I think I am somewhat qualified to speak here. Be advised, though, that traditions vary and what we did on my teams was sometimes different form what other teams did within our same unit. Before presenting the folded flag to the OIC, the NCOIC (who is the Pallbearer directly to the front and right of the OIC) inspects the flag. The standard routine here is to make 4 1/4 turns. After finding the flag satisfactory, the NCOIC and OIC face each other, step towards each other and the flag is handed to the OIC. As Paul stated, the flag is always presented with the flat side towards the person it is being presented to. Thus the OIC then must make 2 more 1/4 turns before moving off to present the flag to the NOK. My guess is that they put 3 spent blanks from the firing party in the flag. How I did it is I waited until after the ceremony, when the soldiers were policing their brass, then approached the next of kin with my less formal condolences (aside from the official script spoken upon the presentation) and offered to place the brass in the flag. I though this a nice touch and it made it less obvious that we already had brass set aside just for this. Maybe in your case the NCOIC had a chance during the ceremony to collect brass. It is likely they used prepositioned brass (assuming that it was brass). Heck, we did too, we even brassoed it up - but putting brass in the flag when it was obvious nobody had picked it up from the ground seemed kind of silly to me. Plus, the widows or other NOK always seemed to appreciate the added gesture and understood what it represented (one round for each volley). Not to toot my own horn, but several funeral directors commented to me that the way we did it was the best they had seen. Some even remembered me months later as I got pulled for the duty again and made similar comments that our team was the best. Nowadays, you are fortunate to have had a full crew. I had to do many funerals the last time I pulled that duty with only myself and an NCO. The two of us folded the flag; I stood alongside the next of kin with the flag for the duration of the ceremony. Then the NCO disappeared to play recorded volleys and taps - from a ^%^%$$# CD player! on cue. We had no firing party to speak of. Heck it wasn't even a decent boombox - the sound sucked. Pardon my rambling but I don't have time to edit - just thought I might be able to contribute. Adam
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 11:40:27 PM EDT
Tonys68l36, I am truly sorry for the loss of your grandfather. God Bless this Soldier!
Link Posted: 12/1/2001 11:52:10 PM EDT
As Adam said, it's probably spent brass. I've seen that done as well. It's not an official thing, but more of a traditional sign of respect. It's not universally done, but I always felt it was a nice touch. Sort of the same as an ancient warrior being buried with tools to use in the afterlife. I know of a family who years and years later unfolded the flag by accident during handling, and the brass fell out. Until then, they never knew it was in there. They were deeply effected that the brass was in there. They knew that it was done for genuine respect and not just for the bereaving family, since they were never told. Ross
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 12:13:47 AM EDT
sorry to hear about your loss. my grandfather also passed away (in oct) recently and was also a vet of the pacific theatre. who knows, maybe your grandpa saved my grandpas rear a couple times as he was in the bombers. at his funeral the flag was already folded and presented by his vfw buddies. i never thought about getting spent brass until afterwords...would have been nice though.
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 1:24:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 8:44:50 AM EDT
Thanks everyone for the kinda words...I have looked at tons of sites on the net and it all went much like Adam_white said he did it but after the flag was inspected and give to the OIC he(the OIC) then stepped the the head of the casket, held the flag over the casket(left hand on top, right hand on bottem I think) then rotated it 1/4 turns..lifted towards his chest and kinda offically looking "hugged" it(or pressed it tighter who knows it did looked nice though)he then stepped over to give it to my grandmother with a "by the script" condolences. I will check on the brass issue...I thought it looked like a coin of some sorts, but didn't want to check for obvious reasons... My wife and I were wondering about the above mentioned actions and I told her I would post(the question)on AR15...I never thought of all the kind condolences I would receive. Thank you very much guys. I might add if you have a loved one that you have not seen in a while maybe give them a call to just say I love you or that you were thinking about them...They go away much sooner than we think they will...
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 8:59:00 AM EDT
We're losing the "Greatest Generation" at an increasing rate and their's still no WWII memorial. My father turns 83 this month and walked in Hiroshima two weeks after the blast. No one even mentioned radiation. Between being a life-long smoker and the radiation he's likely to die one of these days ! Very sorry to hear of your grandfather's passing. Those who fought in the Pacific had to fight with what was left-over after Europe was supplied and that makes their performance even more incredible.
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 9:54:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/2/2001 9:48:30 AM EDT by JIMBEAM]
At my brothers funeral they placed three spent cases in the flag as the NCO said, "God, Country, Navy"
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 11:02:07 AM EDT
Sorry to hear about your loss. My grandfather died last year in october. He was an artillary(sp?) man in WWII. He got buried at Fort Indiantown Gap Cemetery, which is a National Military Cemtetary. (The Gap is also a PANG training base). He had a real military burial, with 7 vets(VFW I think) firing 30-06 rounds for the 21 gun salute. They put 3 pieces of brass in the flag right before they gave it to my grandmother. Don't think it was one of the fired ones though. One of the vets them came over after the cermony was over to offer his condolences. He also gave us spent brass that was fired from the guns in the 21 gun salute that he picked up. I got to keep one in remeberence of him. That's how I new they were 30-06 rounds. I think the guns were bolt actions(maybe springfield 03s?), but they might have been garands. It is kinda blury for obvious reasons. My grandma also says I get the flag when she dies(not looking forward to that though). She is going to be buried on top of my grandpa at the Gap too.
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 11:55:45 AM EDT
I did funeral detail a couple of times, and I remember that the NCOIC would give the survivor 3 spent casings along with the flag. I don't remember the turning thing, but I assume the others know what they are talking about. We would use brass from live (not blank) cases, all shined up with brasso beforehand. AIRBORNE
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 11:56:28 AM EDT
Sorry for your loss. AIRBORNE
Link Posted: 12/2/2001 12:30:20 PM EDT
God bless you and your family.
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