tradition, at it’s finest.

If I’ve learned one thing about the military, it’s that they know how to do “tradition.”

Every evening, at 1645, a bugle call is pumped through the loudspeakers on post, warning, “End of the day coming up; get ready!” At 1655, another call, “It’s really coming! Make sure you’ve got your cap on and are prepared to stop.” At 1700, the bugle calls Retreat, signaling the end of the official day, and then To The Colors, as the flag is lowered.

At 1700, all soldiers stop, face the flag in the position of attention and salute as the flag is lowered. On a Saturday in civilian clothes at the dog park, a soldier will snap to attention for that five o’clock call. On our block, my friends (fellow MilSpouses) and I pause on our walk home from the park and face our strollers toward the setting sun. Our conversations quickly trail off and our children stop running and screaming for that brief moment to “say goodnight to the flag.”

This video brought a smile to my face this morning. A few years ago, Robin Williams was on tour in Kuwait, performing for deployed troops around Christmastime. What happened? Tradition at it’s finest!


  1. […] traipsed around in nothing but combat boots and a diaper. She knows to stop and stand quietly when saying goodnight to the flag. She says bye-bye to her daddy any time he walks out of a room, probably because she has missed him […]

  2. […] I am a sucker for tradition and memory-making and especially Christmas. There’s no denying it. I think it was sometime in […]

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