The tradition of presenting a
shadow box to a retiring sailor is born of early British custom.
In the days of sail, when Briton ruled the seas, it was considered
bad luck for a sailor, upon final departure from a ship, to allow his shadow
to hit the pier before he himself departed the ship. In
order to ensure no such misfortune would befall their shipmate, the crew
would construct a box of the finest timber and place within it all things
that reflected his accomplishments. Only then could the
man, with the “SHADOW” of himself in hand, safely depart the ship and go
ashore once and for all.
Presentation - "On
behalf of your shipmates, we present you this shadow box. With the
shadow box is the military person’s most honored and cherished
possessions, including the flag of the United States of America."