Army15P From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 27 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1150 times:
It really is so sad that I have not heard a single mention of this event by any of the major media outlets. I have to confess that I probably would have forgotten myself if not for this post.
One of the most poignant moments of my life was the day that I was tasked with leading a funeral detail for a deceased soldier. It was one of the first missions that I had been tasked with as a Warrant Officer, so naturally I was incrediblely nervous and was doing my best to make sure that everything on our end was handled as flawlessly as possible. Checking and rechecking my uniform as well as the other members of my team to make sure we looked our best and put on a good face for Fort Rucker, and for the Army, and left the family with a last good memory of the Army that their loved one had served. As the team lead it would be my responsibility to present the flag to the next of kin. In accordance with this I had to memorize the short paragraph that has been stated with every flag handed over since the tradition began. Because of all the other details I had to keep straight, I simply memorized the words, committing them to route memorization, barely able to explain what they meant, but for sure able to recite them without so much as a stumble. Luckily as I was saying them to the NOK, and through the emotion of the moment, those words became pretty clear to me. The meaning behind them and how appropriate that they are said to a family member that has lost a loved one in service of this nation. I spent quite a few hours after reflecting on the new meaning those words had been granted me through this experience. Coupled with a new perspective garnered from some "fun" training the Army had seen to befit to allow me to attend in accordance with my future career as an aviator, I feel that I finally understand them and the true sacrifice both the Soldiers of our military, as well as their loved ones, make everyday for all of us.
"On behalf of the President of the United States and the people of a grateful nation, may I present this flag as a token of appreciation for the honorable and faithful service your loved one rendered this nation."