The old woman finds it necessary to once again refold the colorful cloth. This must be done every so often as decades of brine tend to break away the fiber.

It was in 1942 that her only sibling, an older brother, was captured on Corregidor. He survived the Battan Death March only to die in a prisoner of war camp in Luzon. His remains were shipped halfway across the world for a proper burial. The young sister was presented with the carefully folded American flag that had draped the coffin of this country’s hero.

She never revisited her brother’s grave. There was no need. Every time she opened the kitchen drawer for a fresh dish towel he was there. More often than not salty tears fell, eventually eating away bits of a star or bits of a stripe.

Trina E. Kingsbury

(Niece of Cpl. Urho W. Tereski)