Monday, September 29, 2008

Post 402: A day of Firsts

I have been up since 3:00 am. We got another call and I just stayed up.
Our morning funeral was a 19 year old boy who committed suicide. He was an excellent football player and so the family wanted to go past his school's football field. The students and players were waiting for us. The immediate family and the hearse drove in closer to the stadium and the players gathered around the hearse and sang their fight song. We let the head coach lead the procession to the field, hence my earlier post. The man who led this young man to the field of play every Friday, led him to the field one last time. Since not everyone was going to get to watch the team singing, we got permission from the family to videotape it and in my closing announcements let everyone know that the video would be placed on YouTube.
The afternoon service was a man I knew. He was a retired Cleveland Firefighter, Air Force vet, and former Village Administrator in our town. The Cleveland Firefighters came out to pay their last respects along with our local firefighters and the American Legion. They folded the flag while a fire bell was rang and then Taps was played. After the flag was presented, the Fire Chief had the County set off the fire pagers that the honor guard were wearing to serve as the Last Alarm for the deceased. That set me off and I had to choke back the tears when I dismissed the crowd.
The firsts today:
First time I didn't lead a procession I was director of.
First time I videotaped a service. (I will be putting it on YouTube)
First time I got choked up while trying to do my job.
First time my wife drove in a funeral procession. Isn't that weird, but she always stays back.

A lot of milestones for Post 402. I guess it shows that the set milestones don't mean as much as what it took in between to get there.

Side Notes: While I was driving in the morning funeral procession, a friend called and offered me a 10th row floor seat to see the Who in Michigan. I think I will take him up on it.
When I was leaving church today I fell and twisted me ankle. I might still go to the ER tonight.

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