Wednesday, November 7, 2007

An Estranged Parent's Journey in Life & Death: Part V - The Ceremony & Update from Biloxi

My niece made the trip on Monday from her home to a town near Biloxi National Cemetery where her grandfather's memorial was to be held on the following day. She had the opportunity to meet with the woman that had befriended her grandfather prior to his passing in an effort to secure his personal effects and important papers.

They would meet again at the funeral home and make the journey together to the cemetery in the limo provided for family. As they arrived my niece was the first to step out of the limo and proceeded to a soldier who was assigned for the memorial service. She promptly advised him of her relationship to her grandfather (our father) and told him that she would be receiving the flag for our family. It will be the only thing we will have after his passing, the one thing we could be proud of, his years of service in the military.

My niece said the ceremony was beautiful, complete with a three gun salute, the gun shells being wrapped in the flag, and a tall handsome Marine in dress blues kneeling as he presented my niece with the flag while being accompanied by the sweet voice of a young serviceman who flawlessly sang "Amazing Grace." It was at that moment that my niece was overwhelmed with pride and honor evident by the tears which flowed gently down her face.

After the ceremony my niece was approached by the couple that had befriended my father and they requested the ceremonial flag that had been given to her. She respectfully replied, "No. I have received this flag for my family in honor of his memory and will deliver it to my father in NC who is his son." I am so thankful that she could be there, that someone represented our family. No matter how hard we may have tried to forget this man we could not, and though we weren't able to be there with her for this ceremony, it will make it easier to accomplish closure.

Thank you Livi!

Related Posts: Part I - Notification, Part II - Reactions, Part III - Discovery, Part IV - A Full Military Honors Ceremony,
Part V - The Ceremony & Update from Biloxi, Part VI - Lessons Learned


Sindhu said...

Dear Golden Goddess:
Thank you for stopping by and the Wishes

Great Day ahead!


goldengoddess said...

You're quite welcome Sindhu! I enjoyed reading about your cultural event in your post about the the festival of lights. I hope you enjoyed your visit here and though this was a post about a sad event in our journey, there were some bright spots. Thanks for visiting! :)