Friday, September 05, 2003

Respecting those who have served

The BBC reports that the US is planning on issuing electronic bugles to be used in military funerals. I personally think that it is a very good idea.

Less than a month after September 11, 2001 I lost an uncle who had been a Marine in WWII. Tommy had fought in the South Pacific at (I believe) both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He was a fairly small man and one of his jobs was to go into the Japanese tunnels and ‘dig out’ the entrenched Japanese fighters. I cannot imagine what horrors he saw in the tight hand-to-hand combat that he participated in.

In his last years Tommy was a very sick man but like a good Marine he just wouldn’t give up. He had a triple bypass and three different bouts of cancer and a very hard last few years. Though everyone in the family was very sad to lose him even his sons were happy that at last he was without pain.

I am certain that his funeral would have been very moving no matter what the world situation. However, I have to say that as the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was played for the recessional there was not a dry eye in the house.

Unfortunately, when Tommy was laid to rest at the new Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery there was no bugler available. There was a Marine honor guard and representatives of the VFW but unfortunately no bugle to be seen. Instead “Taps” was played on a boom box. I understand that is the only way to do that however, considering exactly where my uncle’s Marine service was… as my cousin said – ‘did it have to be a Sony?’

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February 2, 2009 at 2:34 AM  

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