I may be one of the most patriotic people on the face of the earth. I love America! My church does a great job honoring veterans each year around Veteran’s Day and I look forward to the service every year. I get teary eyed as a member of each branch of the military marches into the service. This is the one day of the year when I miss my grandfather terribly. Being a veteran of World War II, my grandfather saw to it that many of our vacations taken when I was growing up involved a visit to some type of war memorial. Having been able to travel to other countries, including Communist countries, I have a tremendous appreciation for those who have fought to preserve our freedoms that so many in this country take for granted. Our family was able to travel to a Communist country when my kids were young teenagers. That was probably the most educational activity they have ever participated in, including graduating from high school and college! Thank God, they get it! They understand that we are privileged to live in the USA and even get angry when they see others who so grossly lack an appreciation for our country. I also get teary eyed when we see young men and women of the military coming and going through the airports when we are traveling. I always quietly pray for their safety and for their parents and families who are left at home. Our pastor always encourages us to “buy someone a Coke” and we have been honored to pick up the tab at various airport eating establishments for military personnel that happen to be in the food line near us. They have always very graciously accepted our small token of appreciation. I encourage you to do likewise. You will be blessed.
This past week we had the honor of attending the funeral of a family member at Arlington National Cemetery. It was a well deserved honor for a career Marine and was a very impressive ceremony. The setting was beautiful. It was a very crisp fall morning, about 35 degrees, and the foliage was gorgeous.
The funeral started at the Administration building and proceeded to a meeting point to meet the caisson.
A large group of Marines was waiting for the family to arrive.
There were so many Marines there, I couldn’t get all of them in one photo! I understand that this funeral was with highest honor which is based on the honors received while in service.
After a salute and a brief hymn played by a Marine band, the Marines led the procession to the site of the service.
Soon we arrived at the site for the service.
The service lasted about 30 minutes and was conducted by a military chaplain who did an excellent job. Even the ceremonial folding of the flag was very impressive.
The service concluded with a 21 gun salute followed by the playing of Taps. There were 7 Marines in the photo below but one was cropped out so as not to include any non-Military personnel attending the funeral.
This photo taken with my phone, gives an idea of how many Marines were involved in the service. We counted at least 100!
It was very fitting that this was just before Veteran’s Day. After the service, we hustled to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to see the changing of the guard.
Notice the skyline with the Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial in the background.
We also took a couple of family photos. The first one is of my parents and my daughter. My mother has kept my grandfather’s Navy pea coat from WWII all these years. I now have it and we wear it on special occasions. This was one of those occasions. My daughter had the honor of wearing the “coat” to the funeral in honor of my grandfather and our other military family members.
I am in the next photo of 3 generations.
The last photo is of my husband and daughter and me.
We love DC and all of the historic buildings and monuments. One of my favorites is the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Another favorite is the World War II Memorial. My grandfather would be so proud. He and three of his brothers were all deployed at the same time! My grandfather was from South Carolina and served in the Pacific, specifically in Guam. My daughter is wearing his Navy coat in all of the photos below.
To all of those who are currently serving or who have served in the past, I am forever grateful.