It felt a little surreal, driving through the fields of white headstones. We were there at the national cemetery to honor my grandparents, who passed away in 2012 (Grandma) and 2017 (Grandpa). My Grandpa, a Navy man, was being given a funeral with full military honors, and the VA arranged for my grandparents’ ashes to be interred together at the national cemetery.
I was quite fascinated by all the military ceremony – the flags, the headstones, the ceremony, the uniforms, the 21-gun salute, presenting the flag to the eldest child, and “Taps” being played on a bugle. I had only ever seen things like this in movies, and was honored to be witnessing it in person. I took a few pictures, but spent most of the time trying to observe and remember.
I wonder what my grandpa would have thought if he knew about his funeral. He did a tour in Japan during peacetime, after which he was a pipe fitter on the USS Missouri. I think he may have been very surprised, and maybe even a little embarrassed. Even though he never fought, he made the same commitment as those who did – the commitment to serve the United States. And for that, he was honored.
I love you Grandpa and Grandma. See you in heaven.