Thursday, May 19, 2011

Military Honors

I have missed a number of blogging opportunities lately. There have been interesting events going on, but frankly, I have been too busy, or too tired, to take the time to post about them. One of the most significant of these was the memorial service for my step-dad. It was held last Sunday, which was more than a month following his passing. In some ways, this was a nice timeframe. It allowed friends and family who are not in the area to make travel plans, plus allowed us all some time to get over the initial shock and really be able to enjoy reminiscing about his life and enjoying each other’s company.

One of the most touching parts of the service was the military honors. Dwile had served in the Navy on a destroyer in WWII. After a few short words at the beginning of the service, which was officiated by a very close friend of Dwile’s (who also married him and my mom, and two other couples in my family) the military piece started. A naval officer walked silently up the aisle, stopped in front of the large picture of Dwile and saluted for probably 30 seconds. As if that didn’t have us all on the verge of tears, then Taps started playing. It was heartbreaking. Another officer joined the first for the presentation of the flag. In a very well-orchestrated process, the two unfolded and refolded the flag in front of Dwile’s photo. The second officer then left, and the first carried the folded flag and presented it to my mom. “On behalf of a grateful nation, our Commander in Chief wishes to thank you for your husband’s years of service….” His words were beautiful and familiar, but for me, thank God, only from the movies. I was sitting right next to my mom as the officer looked her straight in the eyes, full of sincerity and respect. Again, heartbreaking.

The rest of the ceremony was filled with songs and stories from Dwile’s loved ones. I am sorry I did not have the chance to know him better, but am so happy he was in my mom’s life, and in mine. I found out from his best friend how proud he was of me for going to law school and how they used to do affirmations for my success. He was a very special man, and he is missed.

1 comment:

Lynilu said...

Oh, so nice. :')