Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 4, 2010

It was a beautiful day. Sunny, a good breeze, no humidity. A day ordered just for us, I think. We'd buried Jon in a blizzard and as we were planning for his birthday on the Labor Day weekend, Hurricane Earl was threatening out in the Atlantic. Just our luck, I thought, we'll have to do his military honors in a hurricane. But our luck, for this day, was good.

We met for breakfast at Jon's home and walked as a group to the cemetery, about 50 of us, I'd guess. I'm sure the neighbors along the way wondered what was up. One lady asked if we were a walking club. Sort of, we agreed. We were walking to be together.


At the cemetery the sign on the gate said "closed." You'll notice that we paid a lot of attention to that. It was a bit of a step for my short legs, but others had no problem at all crossing the chains.



My sister Liz, grandson James and I walked together through the cemetery.


Others waited for us under the spreading sycamore tree that shades Jon's grave. This is an old cemetery, and Jon's "next door" neighbor was a Confederate soldier. Brother-in-law Jay said the blessing, a perfect gift.

The two soldiers from Fort Dietrich who came to provide the ceremony for us were solemn and respectful.


Here they prepare to unfold the flag. I could not help but notice history colliding on this spot, as the black soldier stood at attention beside the grave of Jesse Jabez Stansbury, who served with honor in the Civil War. Time passes, and wounds heal.


The flag was held for a full minute over Jon's grave as each of us said our own silent prayer. Then it was re-folded and presented to his wife.

We sang "Happy Birthday" before we left. Why not? It was his birthday and all of us were there to celebrate his life and remember him. We left, not in sadness, but comforted by having been there together.


Sunlight brightened the flags and flowers as we left.


Sleep well, Son. You deserve the rest.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

never to forget always in prayers from the rising of the sun to setting down of the same may God Bless his family . JWM

Sue said...

and may the Lord say unto him ... and to all of you .... well-done my good and faithful servant.

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

You know, I've never met you but I think of you so often. I vividly recall your pictures of the blizzard. My heart still goes out to you...sending you a big ol' Tennessee hug. (I live waaaaaay up in the little corner of Tennessee that borders VA and the NC mountains are one county away ; I do relate to your writings so much.) May God bless and provide you strength for each day.

Nance said...

a blessed day . . . with family and friends to honor your son and celebrate those "ties that bind".

Angela said...

What a beautiful military ceremony tribute to your son. Thanks for sharing such intimate moments with your family with us. We may not be related by blood but there is a since of kinship just from reading your blog.

Granny Sue said...

You, my blog friends, feel like my virtual family. You've been through this with me, and I have shared my thoughts with you and known your empathy many times in the past months. I wanted to share this special day with you.

Markin said...

And we feel honoured that you would share this with us. Even those of us who have never met you sorrow with you.

mamabug said...

What a beautiful tribute to your son.

Nessa said...

I am glad the weather was beautiful for this very special day.

Nance said...

The photo of the flag over Jon . . . that just takes my breathe. "The flag was held for a whole minute". What a tribute.

Lisa said...

What a beautiful and heartfelt ceremony for your son. It was so touching and brought tears to my eyes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...