Letters to the Editor
Top of mountain
Throughout my childhood, I’ve been going to Vail, Colo., every year to experience an amazing vacation. Wintertime is when I go on this adventure, and one of my favorite things to do, besides playing happily in the snow, is going skiing. Some of the most memorable moments that I treasure are on the top of the snowy mountain in Vail.
The top of the mountain is a pretty sight to see. Powdery snow leads into bright forests of evergreen trees. Snowmobiles race up and down the mountain at top speed. Chairlifts are constantly lifting and delivering people back and forth. Skiers and snowboarders, packed with extra layers of clothing, speed down the mountain, making sudden turns into bumpy paths in the woods. Light snow falls from the sky powdering the ground, as well as the ski racks.
Families, gangs and friends are talking excitedly and crowding the gondolas and powdery ski runs. Icicles are hanging frozen from chairlifts and restaurants. People are gathering and discussing anxiously when to eat lunch or what slope to tear down next. From the view at the top, there are brightly lit gingerbread houses where the snow is like frosting.
While on a tour of the magnificent mountain, you’ll come across few common sounds. The sound of people talking and screaming is drowned by the noise of a moving gondola or chairlift. Skiers or snowboarders stopping short at a rapid speed, usually results as a high- pitched screech. A snowcat sounding its siren makes a loud, annoying whine, while the vibration of the soft, sweet snowflakes make one sound that I cherish.
After a long day of skiing there’s nothing like the smell of warm hot chocolate to relax you or simply calm you down. The smell of hot chocolate is one extraordinary smell near a restaurant.
Since Vail is in a high altitude, it is freezing, so there are many fireplaces. The bitterness of the cold air is always there to give you a runny nose. I taste the snowflakes that fly smoothly from the sky to my dry mouth. I taste my Reese’s Peanut Buttercup lips from my chapstick that I got at Walgreens. I taste the bitter cold wind from the right side and chicken tenders with ketchup and french fries on the left.
When I am on top of the mountain I feel frozen solid, yet warm with all my layers of clothing. I feel stiff and unable to move around as much as I’d like to. I feel energetic and ready to ski, like a bird ready to fly. I feel excitement and disbelief.
Alan Sebag II
After reading a recent Tipsline titled “Respect” by Sandy Brendan, it really made me think. For years I have seen flags hanging backwards on houses, people that hang flags on the back of cars and trucks, and flags that are left out at night without illumination.
It’s a wonderful thing when Americans show their patriotism, but very few know that when flown at half-staff, the flag should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
On Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor all who have died while serving the United States, originally called Armistice Day for the day the treaty was signed that ended World War II, the flag is flown at half staff until noon, then raised to full staff until sundown.
Only the president and state governors can decide when and how long the flag is flown at half-staff.
Here are a few facts from ushistory.org that I found to be very informative:
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States. …
1.The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By “half-staff,” what is meant is lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the president of the United States.
2. When flags of states, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the right of the flag of the United States.
3. When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.
4. When the flag is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes or drapings are desired, bunting of blue, white and red should be used, but never the flag.
5. When the flag is displayed on a car, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
6. When hung in a window, place the blue union in the upper left, as viewed from the street.
7. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.
n My flag touched the ground. Do I need to destroy it?
No. You should, of course, try to avoid having the flag touch the ground. But if it does, you should correct the situation immediately. If the flag has been dirtied, you should clean it by hand with a mild soap solution and dry it well before returning it to use.
n My flag is old and ready to be retired. What should I do?
Section 8k of the Flag Code states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” We recommend that you contact your local VFW chapter and ask them for help properly disposing of your flag. And be sure to consider providing a small donation to them for their assistance. Or you can contact your local Elks Lodge (who created the idea of Flag Day, established officially by President Truman, himself a member of the Elks) or the American Legion. Some Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops also can provide this service.
n Is it OK to have a flag T-shirt or words written on the flag?
No, the flag should never be worn and no, the flag should never have marks or words written upon it “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel.” “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.”