I watched the entire funeral send-off today. Made me sad to realize I was one of the young dumbasses who supported Perot in 92. Perot couldn't carry Bush41's hat. HW was truly the exact man this country and the world needed at the helm for the challenges it faced during his term as President. I am saddened that I rejected that man.
I was also striken by how much I miss Dubya as President. His eulogy was honest and heartfelt. Something I'm not sure either of the two Presidents who followed him could ever muster.
The granddaughters who spoke though, gave me hope for the future. Entire ceremony was moving and I feel a little bit of pity for anyone who missed it. It's not too often we get to see a full-blown State funeral.
It reinforced something I was taught by my aunt in 1998 on the sad occasion of my own father's death - funerals are for the living. My dad had fought in Korea, was in the 1st Marine Division fighting the Chinese at the Chosin reservoir. But he'd always told me he wanted to be cremated and have me dump his ashes out from a plane over Palo Duro Canyon. My aunt, who was his older sister, insisted that no, we were going to let Uncle Sam honor him and take him, with a full-blown military funeral at the national cemetery in Santa Fe New Mexico. We argued bitterly over it for three days, dumb selfish cluck that I was.
I relented when she finally got through my head that funerals aren't for those who have passed, they are for the living who remain. And it didn't really completely sink in until they presented me, as the oldest son, with my dad's flag during the internment.
It all hit me, everything my aunt had been saying, so I stood up, walked two seats over, bowed and presented that flag to her. She had been right all along.
That was 20 years ago last month. I've never forgotten that lesson.
Anyhow, this ain't about me. Just thought I'd share on this day that is for we the living, in honor of a hero who has passed.