To the Editor:

The primary elections may be over in North Carolina, but there is still much political division in our state and across the country. Regardless of which candidate or political party we support, we are all Americans. We should remember that much has been sacrificed by those who have gone before us.

As a funeral director who often serves the families of our brave veterans, I’d like to remind everyone that there are some things we need to cherish and remember no matter what party we are affiliated with, what color we are, what religion we practice, what we do for a living, where we worship, etc.

Have you ever noticed that the Honor Guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times? There is a meaning behind every fold:

The first fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to the country, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.

The sixth fold is for where people’s hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

The seventh fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The eleventh fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The twelfth fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

Finally, after the thirteenth fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding them of their Nations motto, “In God We Trust.”

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under Gen. George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.

All Americans should know this. Those who think that America is an arrogant nation should really reconsider that belief. Our founding fathers used God’s word and teachings to establish our Great Nation.

It is my hope that all Americans will unite and teach those in Washington what leadership really is.

Bill Brater

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