Cynthia L. Eppley 06/08/2021
It all started when I saw a “Patriotic Wreath” online.
It caught my interest right away: a grapevine wreath wrapped in a flag, with a flourish of greens and a bow.
Just my style!
But I thought: “I can make that myself! And I even have an old flag in the garage that I can use!”
What better use for an old flag than adorning a Patriotic Wreath?
When I mentioned my idea to Bob, he exclaimed:
“You can’t desecrate the Flag!”
I hadn’t thought of it in those terms.
I thought this would be a way to extend its’ life in a noble way.
Tired and worn out, it wasn’t suitable to fly.
Upon doing some research, I found that the American Flag cannot be used for decoration.
I had a suspicion of this guideline. (See Of Poppies, Service, and Dad)
You see, my Dad, Sgt. Joseph G. Lippincott, Sr. had fought in WW2.
He had instilled in me a deep respect and honor for the Flag, and for those who fought for our country.
I learned so much from my Dad. But respect for my Country was right at the top of the list.
I know when I see a flag at night it should be lit up. I know the ceremony of raising and lowering the flag. I can’t hear the plaintive melancholy notes of “Taps” without thinking of my Dad. (See Taps)
I know how a flag should be folded—solemnly and with great reverence.
And so his legacy has been passed on.
My brother continues to lift the flag every morning at their home overlooking the Delaware River that we all loved so well.
It is our prayer that it is passed on to younger generations.
Grand Old Flag
You’re a grand old flag You’re a high-flying flag And forever in peace may you wave You’re the emblem of The land I love The home of the free and the brave
Ev’ry heart beats true Under red, white and blue Where there’s never a boast or brag But should old acquaintance be forgot Keep your eye on the grand old flag. (Song by George M. Cohan, written 1906)
The original lyric for this perennial George M. Cohan favorite came, as Cohan later explained, from an encounter he had with a Civil War veteran who fought at Gettysburg. The two men found themselves next to each other and Cohan noticed the vet held a carefully folded but ragged old flag.
(See Memorial Day 2020)
The Greatest Generation
Tom Brokaw published The Greatest Generation in 2001.
It became ”The instant classic that changed the way we saw World War II and an entire generation of Americans, from the beloved journalist whose own iconic career has lasted more than fifty years.
In this magnificent testament to a nation and her people, Tom Brokaw brings to life the extraordinary stories of a generation that gave new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and honor.
From military heroes to community leaders to ordinary citizens, he profiles men and women who served their country with valor, then came home and transformed it.
To this generation that gave so much and asked so little, Brokaw offers eloquent tribute in true stories of everyday heroes in extraordinary times.”
I attended a Service for the Father of a dear friend yesterday.
He was a WW2 vet, like my father. They were part of “The Greatest Generation.”
He had also instilled in her a reverence for country.
His flag, that had draped over his coffin, took center stage.
The glass had been etched with his name.
It was a fitting tribute to this man who fought for his country.
Like Rebecca, my heart swelled with pride to think of this generation who fought for us, for the freedoms we have today.
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The Flag Resolution, passed on June 14, 1777, stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
The Wreath and the Flag
Bob’s father, Robert F. Eppley, Sr. also fought in WW2.
His flag is displayed just inside our front door, along with our fathers’ pictures.
The Flag that draped his coffin is preserved properly and with honor and dignity.
And for the wreath, I improvised a flag.
I added Bob’s father’s dogtags, and medals from my father.
Together, they are a reflection of each other:
It is a fitting testimony to the Greatest Generation and the Flag of our Fathers.