Friday, May 24, 2019

Memorial Day :: Flag Ceremonies

There are TWO guest writers on this Memorial Day post! 
My current group of Girl Scouts and a former student who was a Girl Scout. 

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We are a Girl Scout troop, and in honor of Memorial Day, we taught a lesson about our American flag. We used information from our camping and day trips. On each of the trips, we learned a little bit about the flag. We have even done a flag ceremony at City Hall!

We taught the class how to fold the flag. We were very careful of the flag. We did not want it touching the ground because if the flag touches the ground then we would have to burn the flag. 

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

When the flag is raised on a pole it has its signals. One signal is when the flag is half raised it means that an important American has died. On Memorial Day, we raise the flag half way for all the soldiers that sacrificed their lives. Halfway into the day, they raise the flag fully to recognize the soldiers that are still alive. They raise the flag fully at the White House when the president is there.  

Photo from Pixabay

There are 13 stripes on the flag because of the 13 colonies and 50 stars because of the 50 states. America has grown over the decades. One event that changed America was the Louisiana Purchase. It doubled the size of America (Thank you, Thomas Jefferson, for purchasing if from the French!) America was part of Britain living under their laws. But, we fought the Revolutionary War and we won. We the people govern the land!

When you fold the flag, there are many steps. First, you hold it parallel to the ground. 

After two folds, you have a long narrow flag with the blue field on top.  Next, begin making triangular folds. 

Finally, you tuck in the end and you have folded the flag respectfully!

Here is a link to a Flag Retirement ceremony that Mrs. Yollis attended in 2010. 

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Guest post from Mallory, Mrs. Yollis' former student

This Monday, May 28, is Memorial Day in the United States. 
It is a national holiday!

I celebrated Memorial Day with my mom and my Girl Scout troop in a special way.  We went to the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood to place American flags on the headstones of soldiers who have served our country in the military.   There were so many other troops to help, including Daisies, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Eagle Scouts.

Photo by Mallory's Mom

There was a very specific way to place the flags.  They had to be put 1 foot away from the headstone and 2 inches into the ground.  Then we were told to stand and have a moment of silence to recognize and honor the soldier for their dedication to our country.

Photo by Mallory's Mom

I was very interested to read each soldier's headstone.  Some fought in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War.  There were many soldiers who even fought in more than one war.

This memorable experience inspired me to come home and learn more about Memorial Day.  I found out many interesting facts on Wikipedia. 

Memorial Day Facts:
* Memorial Day used to be called "Decoration Day" during the Civil War.
* It wasn't until after World War II that the name changed to Memorial Day.
* In 1967, it was declared a national holiday.
* There are 88,000 graves in the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

Photo by Mallory's Mom

How do you celebrate Memorial Day where you live?

Do you have anyone in your family who has served in the military?

What facts do you know about Memorial Day that we haven't mentioned?