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Out On The Mudline

American Flag Should Be Shown Respect

By W. P. Sissell

Sam Again

  Last week, shortly after having filed last week’s column, I heard that western accent of Sam’s again. We had a long visit, via phone. One of the interesting things in that conversation was the price the phone company wanted for installing a land line phone—twelve thousand dollars. He thanked them and sticks to his cell phone.

  In that conversation I asked Sam if he knew what happened to Bramlett McCain. He didn’t remember any more than I did. Bramlett was a very quiet and likeable person. Although he was quiet he was always aware of a situation and could usually explain what was going on in an understandable way. He followed Floyd in working for us. After several years with us he moved to a management position with the McClarty’s on their delta farms. This was about the time that I went into the service and I lost track of many people in that time. When I came home from the service I entered Mississippi State and stayed in school continuously for three years. In addition to school during those years I got married. After finishing State, Nanette and I moved to the delta place near Crowder and only came to Water Valley occasionally.

The Flag

  Many years ago, when I was serving as a temporary ranger on Enid Reservoir, the following event took place. As I parked my vehicle in front of the office, one of the reservoir employees was taking down the flag—lowering the colors—he was going off duty and I was coming on duty. Lowering the flag was his final duty for the day. He was not carrying out that duty properly for the flag must be folded properly. Actually one person cannot, alone, lower our flag properly. Sam was wadding up the flag as he tucked it under his arm.

  I called to him and showed him how to properly lower and fold the Flag for storage. I, an overseas veteran, was slightly amazed that a service like the Corps of Engineers did not attend to this procedure properly. As Sam and I folded the Flag the commander of the base, Mr. House, emerged from the office. When he asked about what was going on I explained the removal and folding procedure of the Flag at the end of the day (as I spoke, in my mind I wondered how many times I had stood retreat in my service days, in the States and in a foreign country). I also remembered the time when, in Germany, I was one of the color guards, that our Battalion Major came up behind us and corrected the color bearer, Sergeant Gross, to which Gross kinda growled, “I know how to do this by heart”. There was never any reprimand to Gross by the squad commander.

  From that little incident an order went out to all Corps facilities that the American Flag at all installations would be taken down according to the set regulations. This should be true of all unlighted American flags.

  Several days ago Nannette and I noticed that the flag flying over our Batesville Library was stained and torn. When we told our librarian about this she said that she did not know who to call. I told her to call the  mayor. The next day, as we passed the library, we noticed men replacing that Flag. It was in such a state that it should have been burned.

  I remember seeing our Battalion Flag flying over a building in Germany—meaning “Here’s a little bit of America”.

  Our wish for you is a great week. It does look like spring is finally here. Almost everything has turned green. I know that my lawn is calling me again. I’ve cut it twice already.

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