“On behalf of a grateful nation…”
These words form the preamble that accompanies the handing of an American flag into the waiting, often trembling, arms of a grieving loved one. It was a powerful symbol. It sought to convey a shared sense of sacrifice on behalf of the military, the service member and the family. This relationship was inextricably forged within the covenant of duty to country. Both the flag folding and the utterance of these words were done with exact precision. Each practiced and perfected movement was a far cry from the often violent way in which war created the occasions for these memorials.