For the last month, since we moved into the new Presidio campus, I've been driving up 280 on my way to work every morning.
On the way, I pass by the Golden Gate National Cemetery. The sea of white headstones stands out starkly against the rolling green hills of San Bruno. But it's not the headstones that I see first every day.
It's the flag. Almost every day, the flag is at half-mast. After weeks of seeing it at half mast, I thought "Well, this is just too frequent. It must be always at half mast for the purposes of symbolism." However, I did then eventually see it at full mast [strangely not hyphenated, while "half-mast" is] and that theory went out the window.
Today I got curious and called the cemetery. They told me that the flag is at half mast "a half an hour before the first interment ceremony and taken down a half an hour after the last interment ceremony." If they don't have any ceremonies, sometimes they also get calls from Washington asking them to lower it in honor of other servicemen and women.
Every day as I drive into work to make video games, there's a flag that reminds me that people are dying over seas. It's more poignant a statement than any of those ridiculous magnetic ribbons have ever made.