On June 14, 2021, approximately 7 months after my father had passed from this earthly realm, we laid his ashes to rest. It was, of course, a sad day, and when I heard Taps played by the Navy bugler, the haunting melody made me cry. Although my father was only in the Navy for four years, it was a big part of how he defined himself as a man and as an American citizen. Like many military men, I suspect, my father said he complained about his time while serving, but had nothing but fond memories about it as a civilian. My cousin, a former swabby himself, said this is a common phenomenon.
A Navy Man After Service
In fact, my father probably invested more time into the Navy as a civilian than he did as a sailor. He coordinated and facilitated multiple reunions for his ship, the USS Barry (DD-933). This was a particularly challenging endeavor, given my father did this largely without a computer.
I can still see the stacks of neatly written notes on yellow legal paper, peppered with sticky notes containing phone numbers, contacts, and hotel-reservation information. A particular distinction for my father was being an original crew member when the ship was launched on October 1, 1955. I have his plank certificate proudly hanging on my office wall.
And though I have many fond (and some not-so-fond) memories of my dad, I will always remember the beautiful and dignified manner in which the Navy honor guard folded the flag and presented it to my son, who was noticeably humbled by the act. It was more than just the precision with which they handled and folded the Stars and Stripes, though that was impressive.
It was the profound sense of care and respect the sailors infused in their task. It felt as though they were handling my dad’s very essence, his personage, and they did it with honor, respect, and an understated but very real sensitivity. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, an act of love I will never forget.
And there is an inherent lesson I think we should all take away from this. We get in such an awful rush to just get things done, we forget about the beauty and sanctity of the moment. Instead, have some reverence for things that are important, even, if not especially, the little things.
Whether it’s honoring your country, performing your job, writing a letter, or crafting a song, take care of it as if it was a living, breathing thing. Honor the details and the spirit of the event or situation. Invest your heart into the moment. Because at the end of the day, dignity and honor are forms of love, and it may be the very thing that sustains you in your darkest hour, as you hear the familiar sound of the bugle calling.
At Newsweed.com, we adhere to three simple principles: truth, balance, and relatability. Our articles, podcasts, and videos strive to present content in an accurate, fair, yet compelling and timely manner.
We avoid pushing personal or ideological agendas because our only agenda is creating quality content for our audience, whom we are here to serve. That is why our motto is ”Rolling with the times, straining for the truth.”
Your opinion matters. Please share your thoughts in our survey so that Newsweed can better serve you.
Charles Bukowski, the Los Angeles beat poet that captured the depravity of American urban life once said, “There is something about writing poetry that brings a man close to the cliff’s edge.”
Newsweed is proud to stand in solidarity and offer you a chance to get close to the cliff’s edge with our first Power of Poetry Contest. Are you a budding bard, a versatile versifier, a rhyming regaler? Do you march to the beat of iambic pentameter, or flow like a river with free verse?
If so, here’s your opportunity to put your mad poetic chops to the test. Enter our poetry contest for bragging rights and an opportunity to win some cash!