As I stand on the street there is knot building inside my gut caused by a mixture of anticipation and sorrow.
I feel the cold biting wind caressing off the passing cars and it stings me as reminder that some mothers heart will be empty and cold tonight. as the procession gets closer the winds picks up as if to punctuate this point.
I look up and down the street at the gathering crowd and I feel a sense of relief. This sacrifice has not gone unnoticed .In the crowd is a soldier in his bdu’s stand next to lady in her business casuals.Flags are out banners displaying the flag are everywhere .
As the procession nears the bells of church down from me play hymns.As the 1st police car comes in sight I see is dressed in his civilian clothes.Respect does not take a day off. As the next police car crests the hill I hear the sound of rolling thunder cascading off the buildings. Over the crest the hill comes a honor guard of motorcycles flying the US flag & POW/MIA flags.
As the Hearst goes by with the flag draped coffin the tears running down my cheeks are not caused by the wind any more. It is a vivid reminder that freedom comes at a cost.
After the motorcade passes and I walk back by myself in silence hoping the family of this young man, and all those before him and after, understand that we are thankful by their sacrifice.
‡ Author’s note: This is a raw unedited post written on my outdated PDA as I stood the street Feb 26,2010 watching the procession for Lance Cpl Matthias Hanson. He was 20 years old.‡ This post was first published 02/27/2010 ‡