3 PM, May 30th. Shots from the honor guard pierce the still quiet of the bright blue sky.
stirring. Its plaintive notes are a prayer in music--of hope, of peace, of grief, of
rest... Prepare us too, Lord, for our final bugle call when you summon us home!
When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and death will be no more." *
Mom's ashes will be flown to Puerto Rico; there was no casket to drape. Instead, the United States flag was opened then carefully folded in the ritual specific to this nation.
Before presentation to closest kin the flat was folded into the shape of a tri-cornered hat, as was worn by colonial soldiers during the nation's battle for Independence. With respectful cadence, the red and white stripes are folded before being wrapped into the star filled blue field; signifying how the light of day vanishes into the darkness of night.
I honestly did not know this part could be pulled off. A garden memorial does not fit within the boxes to check on any federal Internet form. Wanting and deserving these honors was likely not enough.
The family is very greatful to have Field Representative Pat Fabio of Congressman Gary Miller's office in assisting my mother.
*From the invocation delivered by Chaplain (Colonel) Edward Brogan (USAF, Ret.) at the Taps Exhibit Opening Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, 28 May 1999
More information on the US Flag Folding Ritual found at http://www.usflag.org/foldflag.html