The One That Matters

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Project by brianinpa posted 12-21-2010 03:59 AM 2202 views 3 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Through the years, I have made several of these for various friends and relatives. Up until this point, they have all been nothing more than wood, glue, and some glass. This one was different.

January 8, 2010 my Grand-Father passed away at 89 years of age. During WW II he was a Radio Operator in the Signals Corps and he served in the Pacific Theater. He was in the Army for the duration of the war and later retired from the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Lebanon, PA.

I knew that upon his passing I would be making a flag box for the flag that covered his coffin, but I had a hard time coming to grips with the need to build it. I have a lot of fond memories of out-door activities with my Grand-Father and sadly that is all I have left. A few weeks after his funeral my Grand-Mother asked if I would make a box for the flag and she knew the answer to her question without any spoken words.

Spring came and went; Summer is long forgotten; and the leaves were beginning to Fall and still I hadn’t started: mostly because of my emotions. I finally got to it with the intention of completing it for Christmas. Looks like I made it in time, but the problem is that Grand-Ma went on a trip to Georgia to see my Aunt and Uncle. It will be waiting for her when she returns.

Red Oak with Walnut splined miter joints: first time I have used that type of joint so I needed to make a jig first. A LumberJock can never have enough jigs. I finished it with Red Mahogany and wipe on poly.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

23 comments so far

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 4168 days

#1 posted 12-21-2010 04:14 AM

“This flag is presented by the people of a grateful Nation in memory of the service performed by your loved

It is a truly high honor to present a flag to a widow at the gravesite.

Thank you for this display of an important flag.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4501 days

#2 posted 12-21-2010 04:24 AM

Thank you for sharing with us. You are a special person in your family and I know they appreciate it.
- JJ

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3754 days

#3 posted 12-21-2010 04:51 AM

Actually Brian, they all matter! Just this one has more meaning to you personally, and I feel for you!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4459 days

#4 posted 12-21-2010 05:03 AM

Yea Bearpie I know they all matter, but this is the only flag box that caused a tear in my eye everytime I worked on it.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View littlecope's profile


3083 posts in 4238 days

#5 posted 12-21-2010 05:25 AM

Great Job, Brian…
I am very sorry for your loss.

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3812 days

#6 posted 12-21-2010 05:32 AM

I tell you what. If you don’t get choked up about the very thought… Well….

Brian I am proud of you and your Grandfather. What a wonderful show of respect you accomplished here.

Very good stuff!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4480 days

#7 posted 12-21-2010 05:55 AM

I know how you feel, Brian. I’ve made several of these for my shipmates over the years, and am still making them, but when I made one for my Dad’s flag, after he passed, it seemed to really strike home. He was a BM2 and served in the Pacific in WWII/Korea. They were our examples. Thanks for the post.

View kenn's profile


813 posts in 4455 days

#8 posted 12-21-2010 06:41 AM

“I’m sorry for your loss” never seems to say enough … It’s good to have those memories and I am sure your Grandmother appreciates the love and thoughtfulness you put into making the display box.

Thank you for your families service to our country. I am sorry for your loss. God Bless you and your family.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3754 days

#9 posted 12-21-2010 07:04 AM

Brian, a favor please, will you let us know how your Grandmother reacts to this? Thanks.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 4434 days

#10 posted 12-21-2010 02:47 PM

Beautiful flag case. Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3592 days

#11 posted 12-21-2010 03:08 PM

Brian that is a special flag box.
I also have fond memories of my Pop (Grandfather), they are the best.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View ugoboy's profile


120 posts in 3770 days

#12 posted 12-21-2010 03:57 PM

Brian – I am sorry for your loss and grateful for your grandfathers service to this county. Like you I have a Flag box that I am building for my Fathers Flag. He was in the Navy and served during the 60’s-70’s. Somehow every time I get started on it the emotion just overcomes me. I appreciate you sharing your story. It has inspired me to start back working on my Fathers Flag Box.

-- ~ Guy Woodward, Pflugerville Texas

View helluvawreck's profile


32119 posts in 3602 days

#13 posted 12-21-2010 03:59 PM

This is a wonderful project and a nice tribute to your grand father. Good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4760 days

#14 posted 12-21-2010 05:57 PM

There’s something healing in doing this kind of project. The memories may be all that is left, but that’s really the important part. You’ve done a good thing, and intertwined your memory with his. As it’s said:

“Gone but not forgotten.”

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View lew's profile


13086 posts in 4491 days

#15 posted 12-21-2010 06:08 PM

A beautiful and fitting tribute, Brian.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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