Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday we said goodbye to my Grandfather. He passed away on the third and we said our goodbyes to him yesterday.

The service was nice. The local Catholic priest headed the service. When he wrapped up (about 10 hours later) the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) came in and did a military service. I'm pretty sure this is part of an evil plan.

About 10 veterans come in slowly. Each one of them solemnly salute my grandfather and walk back out. One of the veterans is carrying bagpipes and at the end of the line are two active duty soldiers wearing their Army dress blues. The VFW officer stands at the podium and gives a very nice speech. The haunting sound of Taps plays when he is finished. Most everyone has tears in their eyes now. When the bugle ends and the music is fading away we all hear a slightly distant "Ready! Fire!". Seven rifles go off and everyone of us jumps. Later on I hear one of the younger people ribbing an uncle because he jumped so high they thought he was going to land in his wife's lap. There are two more volleys and then the bagpiper plays Amazing Grace. The sound of the bagpipes is fading as the two younger soldiers come in. They fold the flag. The flag and three of the casings (one for each volley) is presented to my uncle Paul, the oldest of the surviving children. They did honor to my grandfather who was a former Marine.

The service was held at the local funeral home. Afterwards we all met at one of the local churches for a reception. There was good company and excellent food.

I missed Grandpa's gravely voice when I came in the door. No one can say "Hey Hank!" they way he could. Of course, he was the only one who ever called me Hank.

Goodbye Grandpa.