Thursday, September 2, 2010

Full Honors

(photo credit:, 12/17/08 STEPHANIE GASKELL)

Today I am thinking about the beautiful funeral I had the privilege of attending yesterday.

It was a full honor military funeral at Arlington Cemetary putting to rest a dear friend's father, LTC Floyd Clark, who served honorably in the Army and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He lived a long and godly life as a son, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and soldier until he was 90 years old!!!

The ceremony was so beautiful complete with a horse drawn caisson carrying the American flag draped casket, soldier escort, a full Army Marching band, and a 21 gun salute! It was such an honor to participate in the honoring of an American soldier and a friend's father.

There were many highlights... here are a few:

- when the soldiers were folding the flag and presenting it to his widow the chaplain explained to the family that for many years their family member honored the flag and that today the flag would honor him. How beautiful is that!!??

- this man's granddaughter wrote this as one of her favorite moments of the funeral: "I think my favorite part was the tourists that removed their hats and saluted as the flag-covered casket passed by..." I agree! As I witnessed the respect the tourists gave to this man, I could not contain my tears.

-the sound of the band playing Taps. Sooo hauntingly beautiful. Have you ever read the lyrics to Taps? Here they are. So beautiful.

Day is done
Gone the sun,
From the lakes,
From the hills,
From the sky,
All is well,
Safely rest
God is near.

Fading light,
Dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky
Gleaming bright,
From afar
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is near. (Here is a link to the history of Taps:

What a beautiful song of comfort as a loved one is laid to rest.

I salute you LTC Floyd Clark! Rest in your Lord's presence!