My thoughts are turned towards all the times that I have heard taps playing, only disrupted by the sound of the broken-hearted trying to maintain their composure, before I was to step before a widow, whose partner was gone long too soon, with nothing to offer but a folded up flag and a bit of memorized speech, “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to Country and Corps.”
Mostly though, my thoughts are turned towards those that have come face-to-face with that after-thought as its possibility became reality. These are our ancestors, they, whether willingly or not, were ripped from this realm at the hand of violence.
Death comes; this is a fact that cannot be changed. It is a threshold upon the circle, without which the end would not also be a beginning. Change is the only constant. The eventual descent into the Mother’s Tomb will come. How this happens is not always within our control, but a few, the Honored Dead, never knowing if and when they might be throw into the cauldron, made the choice that when they did, they would have the mark of having been a servant of life upon their breast.
All Hail the Honored Dead!
"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."