Friday, April 2, 2010

An American Hero

My grandpa died on Sunday, March 28th. He was 84 years old. I am still so numb to the fact that both of my grandparents are no longer with us. I loved them so. Yesterday we laid my grandpa to rest at Abraham Lincoln's National Cemetery in Joliet IL. What an honor to have witnessed such a graceful and Honorable event. From the distance as we drove up to the cemetary sight you could see the flags blowing in the air, the Military lined up young and old with their rifles in hand looking so reverent ; all in honor of my grandpa. As they played the Taps song and did the 21 gun- salute I can't explain what a nostalgic experience that was for me. They presented the American Flag to my dad along with the 3 shots they fired. What an amazing sight; My dad was so honored/humbled to be receiving those 2 things that he knew my grandpa earned and would be so proud to have. I will so miss my grandpa's laugh and sense of humor. He was always on "our side" and that will be forever missed. I can picture my grandma and grandpa playing cards, drinking coffee and feeling no pain in Heaven. He sure did love my grandmother. I always loved looking at his tattoo that he had on his arm that said "Betty". I am so glad Olivia has memories of him and I am so grateful that he got to meet Ava. I love you grandpa and I miss you already. If your reading this and have grandparents left here on earth; give them a call. It will probably be the highlight of their day.
Below is some info about the 21 gun- salute that I found interesting.
The 21-gun salute is the highest honor that can be given by a nation. The 21-gun naval salute was first adopted by Great Britain, the predominant maritime power world in the 18th-19th centuries, and was later accepted as an international salute.
Early naval gun salutes consisted of seven shots because that was the standard number of weapons on ships and because of mystical properties associated with the number seven. Land batteries, which had more gunpowder than ships, could fire three shots for every one fired at sea, and as a result, batteries on shore fired 21 gun salutes. When the quality of gunpowder improved and it could be stored better at sea, naval ships also adopted the 21-gun salute for greeting each other. In 1730, the British Royal Navy adopted the use of this salute as a commemoration of significant anniversaries. The 21-gun salute was later adopted as a salute to the Royal family as well.

1 comment:

  1. Michele,
    What wonderful journaling. I was honored to be part of this ceremony. Dave was touched by it, also. What wonderful closure!!! We will all miss him and grandma. LOVE, Sharyl