Author Topic: Potentially sensitive gifts  (Read 1732 times)

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rashea

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Potentially sensitive gifts
« on: December 07, 2011, 08:44:07 AM »
I'm looking for a second opinion. My BIL was a firefighter in NYC on 9-11. His partner was killed, and he himself was trapped in the rubble for a while. Needless to say, it's a big thing in his life. He and my sister have quite a few memorabilia type things on display.

For Christmas, they asked for a flag to replace the one that has gotten a bit tattered that they fly from a porch type pole. We're getting them that. But, I'm going to surprise them with a flag pole as well, because I think that they would like to have one, and that it would work in their yard and neighborhood. Of course, that means that they really need two flags.

I was thinking about getting them a 9-11 memorial flag. Something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/9-11-Fire-Department-MIA-Flag-pow-usa-american-3x5-/150713255320?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item231735c598#ht_706wt_1185
But, I'm afraid it may be too much. It may hit a bit too close. Thoughts?
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Larrabee

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 08:54:33 AM »
I wouldn't, I think its a really nice thought but the result will probably be the stirring up of troubling emotions and awful memories on Christmas  morning when they open it.  Maybe you could send it another time when its more private and less of a 'special happy occasion'.

I'm confused as to why they need two flags, wouldn't the pole replace the porch 'pole' rather than be an addition?

LadyL

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 09:35:55 AM »
I wouldn't either. I posted here once about 9/11 commemorative items and it's a divisive topic. Some people find it touching, others find it to be insensitive. Rather than guess how your BIL feels I would get him something neutral. The memorabilia items he has may be ones he chose for specific reasons, he might now want to display his 9/11 affiliation on his front porch.

Shoo

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 09:50:24 AM »
Are you sure they are allowed to have a flag pole in their front yard?  Many HOA's do not allow them.  I wonder if there's any way you can check first.

As far as getting 2 flags, I'm not sure about the 9-11 one.  It might be too personal, you know what I mean?  I think that if they want to add a 9-11 flag to their pole (beneath the American flag, I presume), that should be something they can decide to do if they want to.

I would LOVE a flag pole in my front yard.  Some day I will get one. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 10:56:43 AM »
I wouldn't, I think its a really nice thought but the result will probably be the stirring up of troubling emotions and awful memories on Christmas  morning when they open it.  Maybe you could send it another time when its more private and less of a 'special happy occasion'.

I'm confused as to why they need two flags, wouldn't the pole replace the porch 'pole' rather than be an addition?

I think this is the way to go.

I know the Canadian protocol says that the Canadian Flag should be flown on its own pole.  If you want to fly another flag, it should be on a separate pole.  I'm guessing American Flag protocol would be the same?
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bopper

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 03:12:26 PM »
Maybe ask your sister what she thinks?


Hillia

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 03:15:39 PM »
Well, the OP does say that the family owns and displays several 9/11 commemorative items, so presumably they are able to deal with the emotions brought on by them...perhaps they find comfort in these items. 

Also, you can display a flag other than the US flag on a single flagpole as long as the US flag is the highest.

My main concern would be regarding neighborhood restrictions about front yard flagpoles.

(ETA:  OK, now I've looked at the actual design and I have to say I'm not nuts about it.  It is too obviously patterend after the POW/MIA flag, and to me seems to be hijacking or piggybacking on to that memorial.  I think a 9/11 flag would be ok for this family, but I wouldn't get that particular one).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 03:17:58 PM by Hillia »

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rashea

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 03:43:44 PM »
OP,

There is no issue with the neighborhood. Several other people in the neighbor hood have flagpoles, and they don't have an HOA.

I'm thinking of sending it directly to my sister, and let her make the call. Maybe suggest that if they would rather, I'd be happy to return it and either get something else, or donate the money.

Hillia, that's not actually the flag. The one I'm looking at is less POW like.
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rose red

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 04:01:10 PM »
I wouldn't get them two flags for one occasion.  If you give two gifts, I think it's better to get them the flag they want and something else.  A separate 9/11 flag might make them think that's all people identify them with.  For a less tragic example, it's like the teacher who only get apple knic knacks for gifts.

Giving the memorial flag on a different date then Christmas is a better idea.

Bijou

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Re: Potentially sensitive gifts
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 10:51:06 PM »
If you knew for a fact that they wanted such a flag, and they had asked for one, that would be different.  But even then, if there are different designs, you would want to know that, specifically, as well.
Personally, I would not get it for them under any circumstances.  I think this is a very personal thing and is best left as a personal purchase. 
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