NASCAR fans will pay their respects to fallen and wounded U.S. military servicemen and women at NASCAR’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on March 1, 2015 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. During the 13th lap of the race, attendees will be invited to raise and hold a printed replica of a folded flag for the duration of the lap, as a sign of respect and gratitude.
“A standing show of support and respect by NASCAR fans at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be a poignant and powerful symbol of America’s support for our military heroes,” said Major Dan Rooney, Folds of Honor founder. “In the armed forces, we make a vow to never leave a soldier behind on the battlefield. Folds of Honor holds that same promise for the families of these fallen and wounded soldiers. We will not allow them to be left behind.”
An American flag folded 13 times represents the fallen, and is symbolic of the last reward for military service. All 13 folds have a specific meaning:
- The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
- The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
- The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
- The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace, as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance.
- The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
- The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
- The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
- The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
- The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
- The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.
- The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.
- When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships and assistance to families of military men and women who have been killed or disabled while serving in the armed forces.
Assistance helps support private education tuition or tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher educational tuition assistance for spouses and children. Since its founding in 2007, the organization is proud to have awarded over 7,500 scholarships in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam, including more than 2,000 in 2014.
Those who wish to donate in support of Folds of Honor scholarships can make a tax-deductible donation at www.foldsofhonor.org.
QuikTrip Corporation is a privately held convenience and gasoline marketer headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded in 1958, QuikTrip has grown to a more than $11 billion company with more than 700 stores in eleven states. With over 17,000 employees, QuikTrip has made Fortune magazine’s list of Best Companies to Work For every year for the last twelve years. QuikTrip is also consistently ranked as one of the top convenience store marketers in product quality and friendly service. For more information, visit www.quiktrip.com.