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Flag placed wrong on casket?


Tue, Sept 18, 2012

Editor: I must say that I was totally impressed by the turnout of police officers, members of the public and family members at the funeral of the late P.C. 628 Franklyn Matthews’ funeral, which was held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Mesopotamia, on Sunday, September 16, 2012.{{more}}

Matthews joined the police force first as a Band Cadet; then he was enlisted into the constabulary when he was eligible to become a police officer. From my knowledge, he spent all those years as a member of the Police Band. I believe that he had lots of plans for the future, but at age 37, his life was cut short. It is not easy losing a loved one at such a young age, but there isn’t anything anyone can do when death steps in. Death is not something anyone of us is able to accept and to cope with, but we all have to face it one day. What is important is that we live a life pleasing to God, as we spend our short time here on earth, in the hope of a better life when we leave this earth.

I take this moment to wish his wife and son all the best. I know that it won’t be easy for you Mrs Matthews, losing your husband at such a young age, but God knows best. I pray that he will give you the strength to cope with this loss, and there will be friends family and loved ones around you who can comfort you with some kind and encouraging words as you go through this moment of grief.

While at that funeral, I noticed two things which I need to comment on.

Firstly, the flag which was used to drape the casket. I am not too sure if the funeral was a state or a military one. Normally, when a police officer dies in service, he/she is given a military funeral service and the police flag will be used to drape the casket, but, in this case, this wasn’t so. Maybe things have now changed and the State flag is used instead. If this is so, then I stand corrected.

Secondly, is the way this flag was placed on the casket. The blue of the flag, which is the head of the flag, was placed at the foot of the casket instead of the head. I do not know which officer was responsible for the funeral, and with so much to do, or maybe this was the first time he has been in charge of a funeral of this nature, he probably didn’t take note of these small details.

These little things are what someone should take note of, always bearing in mind that there is a right and wrong way to hang our flag. If the first part of the casket that goes into the hearse, then the flag was placed wrong, because the blue was the first to go into the hearse. I hope that the police will look back at their photos and see if I am right or wrong. If I am wrong then I stand corrected.

Other than these two observations, I will say that the funeral was well attended.

Mrs Matthews, on behalf of my family, and on my own behalf, I wish you all the best in this moment of your bereavement. May God continue to bless and keep you and you son safe always.