Thursday, June 30, 2011

Photos and Funerals.

It's been a while. Since we got back from vacation a week ago today, which is crazy and I feel like it's only been like 2 days, 2 really long days. We flew in late Wednesday night and hit the ground running in a full sprint on Thursday. While we were on vacation, the Hub's grandpa passed away. The visitation was on Thursday and the funeral was on Friday. Hundreds of people came. Hundreds. The line to say good-bye to Grandpa Bob was line up down the center aisle, through the church lobby and out the front door. What a testament to an incredible man. A man that touched so many peoples lives.

The most moving part was as the pallbearers carried the American flag draped casket to its final resting place in Lewis Cemetery. On either side of the grave were the Honor Guard, here to give tribute to losing yet another World War II veteran. Behind them, a row of the Paul Stinson Firing Squad ready to salute the passing of one of their own veteran members with a 21 gun salute. After a brief message, the Honor Guard took their places on either end of the casket and begun the folding of the flag. Each fold stands for something symbolic, each folds has a mean bigger than just the piece of cloth being folded together. I looked it up a couple days after the funeral...

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country.

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

This is a shortened version, but still is pretty cool. I had no idea as the flag folding ceremony was taking place, but now that I know, it seems that much cooler, that much more meaningful for Grandpa Bob.

So I don't know if you noticed, but I did take a picture at the burial. I actually took pictures at the whole  funeral. From Grandma saying good-bye before the funeral, to each grandkids' speech, to the folding of the flag. I know it seems kind of morbid, to take picture at a funeral, you know? However, this is going to the last memory of Grandpa Bob. The last way to honor him. The last way to show love and appreciate for his sacrifice. So, I took pictures. For me, I'm so glad I did. It gave me a chance to go back and look at each picture, remembering the emotions. Remembering the heartache. Remembering the eerily moving Taps played on the trumpet after the folding of the flag. I've never been so close to a family member's death. I have all 4 of my grandparents. Death is not familiar, so this was a first. Pictures helped me process. That was a first and I'm sure there will be more.

We'll miss you Grandpa Bob.
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