My father-in-law died on September 14th but his funeral and reception were held yesterday at Arlington Cemetery.
Between the elderly World War II vets and active military dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are about 30 funerals a day there. After you fill out the paper work they let you know the earliest date available for the service.
It was a beautiful event. My husband and son made eloquent remarks at the service although Ben began choking on his tears half way through. I was very proud of my husband Brian. He spoke with grace and thoughtfulness.
Afterward six gray horses ridden by soldiers pulled the caisson that carried the single coffin to the burial site. Military officers involved in the ceremony march behind with family members following.
They remove the flag and fold it in an elaborate ritual then presented it to my step mother in law. After the twenty one gun salute they play Taps. Some closing prayers were made and the ceremony came to an end.
It was a tough weekend. The house was officially sold two weeks ago and his widow will be moving back to Missouri in a few months to live near her two sons in St. Louis. Not having a place to go back to is hard for Brian and Ben. It feels like his father died and every sign of him was wiped away...at least it feels that way now.