An American flag folding ceremony was held at the Naperville Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873.
“Well, it started out with the very large flag that was replaced by a new one at the side of city hall,” said James Oftedal, Honor Guard Commander. “And we didn’t know that that was done until we were told that somebody would like to have the old flag memorialized by having it folded. I was at a breakfast meeting and across the table, Wayne Fischer, who is the American Legion Illinois national commander, looked at me and said, ‘Marty Walker has ownership of the flag, and he would like the honor guard to fold it.”
“And I said, Oh, that’s impossible. And then I thought, well, maybe we should at least try, because it is something that we have never seen before. And so, since the honor guard is familiar with folding flags at funeral sites for gravesites, for veterans, they came to us and asked us to for the flag for them. A flag that is for a veteran is folded and it ends up as a tri corner flag. There are 13 specific folds for a for an honor guard flag. This flag today, because of its size, would not qualify, but it was folded so that it would also be a three-sided fold to mimic what it would be if it would be for a veteran at the graveside with 13 specific folds, and each of the folds have a specific meaning and dedication to that fold.”
“The sun side was quite faded, but the back side was very still brilliant red, white and blue. And the reason why we take certain precautions with the flag is that ever since the flag was created, every veteran that has fought in any branch of service, that’s our nation’s flag. And that’s what we fight for and die for.”
“And what I did not know until today, when I talked to Marty in advance about an hour before we came here, I told, well, what are you going to do with that? Are you going to put it in a case and put it behind your desk? And if it falls over, you’re going to get hurt. So he said no. He and Jim Hoke, who is the photographer for both the VFW and the American Legion, are going to make a custom case, and then he’s going to donate it back to the VFW so it can be on display here. I think that the importance of doing this is that this has been a Naperville flag. Naperville citizens have looked at this for the past ten years on the side of city hall. And so even though it might be stored here, we will consider it a Naperville city flag. It belongs to all the citizens,” concluded James Oftedal, Honor Guard Commander.
Naperville News 17’s Angela Hager reports.
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