PRECISE. DISCIPLINED. PATRIOTIC.
Whenever I’ve witnessed anything military-related, those words fit. Service men and women, from my observations, are well-trained in proper protocol, team work and respect. Once instilled, those strengths remain, even decades after active military duty.
There’s something comforting about the military rituals of Memorial Day. The gun salute by the Honor Guard. The playing of Taps. The advancement and retirement of the colors by the Color Guard. All happened during Faribault’s Memorial Day observance.
But even the best practiced traditions sometimes go awry. I saw that happen late Monday morning as a member of the Color Guard removed the Minnesota state and American flags from their place of honor in front of the Central Park Bandshell.
The wind caught the flags, wrapping the veteran in red-white-and-blue. I marveled at his discipline. I would have fought with the fabric, attempting to untangle myself. But he didn’t. He simply walked with the American flag covering his face and torso.
Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned from that scene. The veteran’s actions exhibited trust and an adherence to his military training. He continued as called to duty. Focused. Determined.
When he completed his mission and turned toward the crowd, I observed a broad smile. Old Glory draped across his left forearm. A touching reminder of freedom.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Flag handling – more like wrangling. When I worked in a public office I was the keeper of the flags. The American Flag to the left and the State Flag to the right. There were certain hands/ways you picked up the flags as well as displayed the flags. I learned a lot of my flag training from my father as well as being a Scout. Pretty cool captures! Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂
Flag wrangling fits. It sounds like you really understand flag protocol.
Wrangling it is! I have family members that did mounted patrol. Trying to train horses not to react when flags start flapping is a whole other form of flag wrangling – color guard can be on horses too (I never did that).
Ah, yes, carrying a flag while on horseback seems even more challenging.
You can tell he’s got a great smile on his face…
I know. I love that broad smile.
Awesome capture and that smile on his face says it all. He handled it with grace.
Exactly. I felt really fortunate to capture these images.