Written by George Teagarden
Have you noticed something new and different at the Minnesota School of Business-Shakopee campus? I missed it when I walked in, but then I looked out the front window and there it was. Our new flag was waving in the wind just as proud and beautiful as it could possibly be. As I gazed out the window, I realized how fortunate we are that today our flag flies high rather than at half-staff. And while we have the ability to appreciate it today, we don’t always. Perhaps the most prominent symbol of our country is when the American flag flies at half-staff.
Most Americans don’t know it, but there are some very strict guidelines on hoisting the flag. It is to be hoisted to the top and only then is it lowered to half-staff or half mast, whichever is the case. Half-mast is the term used aboard ships and half-staff is for on-land situations.
The flag can be flown at half-staff at the request of the state of governor and the President of the United States. The flag is flown from sunrise to sunset on specific days, except on Memorial Day when the flag is flown at half-staff until noon; then, it is raised to full-staff. The first half of the day remembers the war dead and the second half honor those that are still alive.
When I see a flag at half-staff, I think about other soldiers who have given their lives for our country. I wonder about his or her children that have lost a father or a mother and parents who have lost a child. When the flag is at half-staff, that is our way of saying thank you for the life that was given, and we will always love and remember them for it. Remember, they all choose to fight for us; they were not drafted, so when we think about them, remember the gift they have given to our country and us. Now, on the Shakopee Campus, we have a daily reminder of the sacrifices our current students are giving each day. Our 19 active-duty soldiers, veterans, spouses, and children sacrifice every day for our safety. As we walk into campus, we are reminded of their sacrifice.