By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
A Flag Day ceremony at Killeen City Hall ended moments before rain began to fall Thursday as a few dozen gathered for the event.
The Killeen Police Department Honor Guard lowered and folded an old U.S. flag. As they folded the flag, Madeline Schwartzman, who earlier sang the national anthem, listed symbols for each of the 13 folds.
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life, the second for belief in eternal life, the third in honor and remembrance of the veterans, the fourth represents a weaker nature as American citizens are trusting. She said that means Americans seek guidance from God in times of peace and war for 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,'" Schwartzman read.
The sixth fold is for where Americans' hearts lie.
"It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag ..." she said.
The seventh fold is a tribute to the armed forces, the eighth is a tribute to the ones who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that they might see the light of day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, the 10th is a tribute to the father, the 11th – in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen – represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, the12th – in the eyes of a Christian citizen – represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
On the thirteenth fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding Americans of the nation's motto: "In God We Trust."
The old flag was replaced with a new flag.
Greg Schannep, regional director for U.S. Rep. John R. Carter, R-Round Rock, delivered the flag that on Flag Day last year flew over the U.S. Capitol. Schannep read a letter from Carter.
"Old Glory ... symbolizes liberty and justice for all citizens," Schannep read.
He said the flag is a testament to the nation's triumphs and trials.
The ceremony also included "Amazing Grace" played on bag pipes by members of the Central Texas Fire Pipes and Drums, taps by a member of Boy Scout Troop 223 and firing a volley by the American Legion Post No. 223 Honor Guard.
The crowd also sang "God Bless America."
The flag disposal ceremony, to be at the American Legion Post No. 223, was postponed until a date to be announced because of the rain.
Contact Kevin M. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7550