Monday, March 17, 2014

... to die is gain

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

This past Friday my dad was honored for the 33 years he served our country. 
He served both in the Air Force and the Army, as well as the National Guard. 

His ashes will be buried at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. It's amazing to me all the people that have been buried there and that there is somehow room for others still! It was overwhelming to see all those headstones. From the moment I got out of the car, there was an air of honor, respect, and dedication. I felt so proud that my dad would receive a service like this.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect at a 21-Gun Salute. My mom had already had the flag, and the 2 men who presented it to her first unfolded it, and then folded it again- off to the side (I guess a practice?) and then after the 21-Gun Salute, stood in front of us and unfolded it in a neat presentation, only to fold it again. It was amazing to see what seriousness there was in their eyes. While unfolding and folding, both the men looked each other in the eyes the entire time, somehow communicating with each other. Later, when I looked up the meaning behind the folding of the flag, it made a bit more sense, and held an even more special meaning. I would highly recommend reading this article to find out what each fold means. There are 12 folds in all, the final fold representing an emblem of eternity, and glorifies God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Very cool. Please go read it. :)

These men are retired veterans and represent each branch of the military. They do this as a volunteer service. They were so cute with those big, powerful guns. Again, I wasn't sure what a 21-Gun Salute was, but there are 7 men with guns, and they fire 3 times, equalling 21 shots fired. The shots represent peaceful intentions by emptying their weapons. You can read more about it here. It does a way better job of explaining and anyone interested in history will appreciate it. The man you see on the far right side was playing Taps. Wow. Talk about chilling. It was so surreal to hear that song in the context where I was sitting, with my family, honoring my father. That was probably the most emotional part for me.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a lovely lunch at Los Patios where my parents had their wedding reception 35 years ago. It was gorgeous. Tons of trees created a beautiful canopy over several acres of land, leading to a little creek with lots of turtles. My mom and aunt talked about what a beautiful and lovely party it was. Wish I could go back in time and experience that joyful moment.

Please take a look at my brother's blog to see some much better photos! ;)


for to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21
This verse will be on my dad's headstone- a true testimony of his life here on earth.

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