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Arlington National Cemetery is a machine - Dan the Serene
November 23rd, 2010
08:09 pm


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Arlington National Cemetery is a machine
I went to a Full Honor Columbarium Funeral yesterday. It was probably the most painless funeral I've been to since I was old enough to know what was going on. While I am very close to his daughter, and to a somewhat lesser degree his wife, I never knew the deceased very well. He led a full life into his eighties before declining into significant physical then mental issues. He died in the summer and was cremated, but they didn't hold the service until now for a couple reasons.

I say Arlington is a machine because of the incredible efficiency with which they perform a series of highly complex activities every single day. There were actually three different service with at least standard honors going on simultaneously. We had to wait for another service's salute to be fired before proceeding at one point.

This service had a band, honor guard, escort platoon, caisson, flag attendants, firing party, a real trumpeter, a Major running the show, and a full Colonel as chaplain. I caught one photo on my phone.

Honor Guard for USAF 1st LT Stephen J. Hobart (WWII, Korea)

Other people took more photos. I hope to repost at least some of the photos of the service in general.

One thing that was particularly cool to me was that the law regarding saluting by honorably discharged vets just came out a couple years ago. The daughter of the deceased is a serving Army Major and attended in her dress blues. Three of her friends attending are prior service, so we all saluted at the appropriate times.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:November 24th, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC)
I'm very fond of being able to properly salute in civilian clothing myself.
[User Picture]
Date:November 24th, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
I didn't think I'd care much, and at a baseball game or something I might or might not do it, but at Arlington it was a surprisingly big deal to me.
[User Picture]
Date:November 24th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
Understandably so.
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