Rendering Honors

I was recently sitting in a terminal at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. The seating area was filled with people passing the time on their cell phones, grabbing a bite and a drink, or people-watching as I found myself doing. Others were looking through the large windows, watching planes coming and going. At one point, I noticed an older couple standing near a window pane and the man was holding his baseball cap in his hand as they stayed focused on something happening outside. A lady sitting next to them noticed and looked outside in the same direction, tapped her husband’s arm, spoke a few words, and they too stood. My eyes immediately searched for the topic of their gaze. As my neck craned I finally met success, shared this with my family, and the four of us joined the growing group of observers. We all stood there, watching a procession for the returning remains of a military member. This transfer only lasted minutes and the honor guard made each crisp movement with dignity and respect. They call this rendering of honors. While witnessing that moment and the reverence offered by all, from military escorts to a random gathering of everyday respectful citizens, I not only whispered a prayer for this soul but also for the soldier’s family. I thought of all the military spouses who also make a large sacrifice to our country when their loved one dies. They take on the burden of carrying on, perhaps having children to raise, now as single parents, while their hearts grieve and ache over the loss of possibilities, the loss of future moments and milestones and the sharing of these. Today we observe Memorial Day with solemn gratitude. It’s a special day that should never be forgotten. We remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country and also embrace those who had to give up the love of their lives. To all of you we render honors.

#military #MemorialDay #losinglovedones #honor

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