Youth, age, future; a photo
Hello soldiers and other interested parties. I snapped this photo last year at my father's funeral. He had been a WW2 soldier and arrangements were made for the Tyler VFW to provide a volunteer honor guard. He was buried in an old family cemetery with his first wife and several generations of her kin. The little covered chapel was built 50 years ago of steel and tin, to replace the brush arbor which had been periodically rebuilt for 100 years before. In this photo, the support poles divide the scene into three sections. I realized after I took it that it was a profound visual commentary on a soldier's life.
On the left, a youth gazes into the future. In the center, the veterans of the VFW honor guard fire the volley of salute for the departed, in recognition of his service, his sacrifice, and his part in the ancient procession of service to country. On the right, the grave is prepared to receive the remains of the common end of us all.
I've had the honor to be one of the honor guard at many military funerals. It always moved me emotionally. All of us on the team actually. There were about 12 of us that kept doing military funerals over and over for a month. Always reminded me of my own mortality, and to live each day as if it is the last - to the fullest.
We made sure that we did the best with the utmost respect. No matter if we didn't know who the person was or if they were a veteran of a previous war that requested a military funeral. They were one of us.
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