Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Hello, a Goodbye and a Thank You

On Friday we buried my ex father-in-law. His only wish was to get his military send-off. Watching the care taken by the Honor Guard during the flag ceremony was incredibly touching and reminded me of how ceremony can have such a powerful meaning in our lives. Here are some pics:
Cue Taps...

It took several minutes to fold and tuck...

A solemn salute...
On behalf of the president of the United States... (we decided he meant FDR and Truman *gg*)

in gratitude for his service to his country...

Not a dry eye in the house.

My father is buried in the same national cemetary. It's been ten years and I've never visited his grave because it's a four hour nightmare of a drive. But while we were there, we found him...

Hi dad! Can I ride on your shoulders one, last time?

Over a thousand WWII vets die daily. Calverton alone hosts one hundred and fifty veteran funerals per day. At one point we joked about this being a drive-in funeral -- Drive 'em in, drop 'em off. The priest-on-call carried a plastic squirt bottle of Holy Water and spent his life running from casket to casket. I found it amusing.

But it's sobering to see the lines of hearses, and the rows upon rows of perfectly aligned white headstones. One of the graves near my dad's was occupied by a twenty-two year old soldier who'd been killed a couple of weeks ago in Iraq.

That's alot of sacrifice. For that, I was not amused and for that, I give thanks.


Blogger Lyn Cash said...

There are some ceremonies that are just lovely. Photos, too - thanks for sharing. Methinks Frank would have liked your blog.

July 24, 2007 7:58 PM  

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