My dad served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. When he died last January, he was buried with military honors. At the graveside service, two sailors in dress blue pea coats folded the flag that had draped the casket, and a third played Taps on a horn in the blustery winter wind. One young sailor presented my mother with the tricorner folded flag, kneeling before her and saying, "On behalf of the president of the United States, the U.S Navy, and a grateful nation, we thank Kenny for his service and are sorry for your loss." Then they all stood and saluted, turned on a heel and marched away.
I wish I would have talked to Dad more about his years in the Pacific during the war. He was of the Greatest Generation. And he was a great human being. Whether you lean right or left, whether you're a fighter or a pacifist, I think we can all agree that what these soldiers and sailors sign up for deserves our utmost, humble gratitude.
Stand Navy out to sea,
Fight our Battle Cry;
We'll never change our course,
So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y.
Roll out the TNT, Anchors Aweigh
Sail on to Victory
And sink their bones to Davy Jones, Hooray!
Anchors Away, my boys,
Farewell to foreign shores,
We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay.
Through our last night on shore,
Drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more.
Here's wishing you a happy voyage home
Blue of the Mighty Deep; Gold of God's Sun
Let these colors be till
All of time be done, done, done,
On seven seas we learn Navy's stern call:
Faith, Courage, Service true, with
Honor over honor over all.