Saturday, January 23, 2010

Honor Guard

Joe and I were at a funeral for a parishioner today and I have to say that although I am not an overly emotional person,  I have always been moved at funerals. There is just something about a room full of people that are all gathered there with one thing in common.

Loss.

I find that the funerals that affect me the most are the ones that involve someone who has been in the service. Even watching a movie where there is an honor guard brings me to tears as I hear taps being played after the gun salute.

Today the gentleman who brought us all together was a vet and a member of the American Legion here in town. The honor guard was there.

One of the men stood at the front of the room next to the casket during the entire service. It was hot in the room and we were all sweating. He was an elderly gentleman and about 10 minutes before the service was over he collapsed.  As people were running to the front to help him up and to a seat I noticed another member of the guard quietly walk up to the front, salute the casket and take up his post there until the end of the service. It speaks so much to the character of these men. They honor each other even in death.

It speaks volumes.

I, of course, was a crying mess. Then, as if things weren’t bad enough, they presented the flag to his wife of 62 years, did the gun salute and played taps.

I grieve for the family. They have lost someone close to them-husband, father, grandfather… If you think of it, keep them in prayer now.

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