Paying our respects

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tori Schultz
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
"Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light," in 1814, Francis Scott Key was so moved at seeing the Stars and Stripes waving after the British shelling of Baltimore's Fort McHenry that he wrote the words to The Star Spangled Banner.

Monday through Friday the National Anthem plays at 5 p.m., at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., to signal the end of the duty day and to honor and pay respects the American flag. Because the end of the duty day varies, the commander delegates the specific time for the retreat ceremony.

This monthly tradition was led by members of the 6th Air Mobility Wing, wing staff agencies, and the 6th Operations Group, Dec. 11, 2013.

A retreat ceremony may take place at the unit area, on the base parade ground, or in the vicinity of the flagstaff, as it is done here at MacDill.

If the retreat ceremony is conducted at the flagstaff, the units participating may be formed in a line or they may be massed, depending upon the size and number of units and the space available.

Around the world military members take a moment to pay their respects to their fallen troops and to the American flag. It stands for the freedom we all share and the pride and patriotism we feel for our country. We cherish its legacy, as a beacon of hope to one and all. Long may it wave.