I watched the changing of the guard on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada with a little bit of melancholy. My son should have been there with me. He was all I could think about. I watched the young men and women march onto the field, obeying commands, standing at attention, and following all the pomp and precision that the ceremony demands. It could have been my son standing there. It was my son on other occasions in other times, standing in fields and cemeteries in central Georgia…
Mac is in the U.S. Air Force, serving in his fourth year. Last summer, he served a stint in Honor Guard; attending funerals all over the state of Georgia in the hot, summer heat. He stood at attention during tens, if not hundreds, of renditions of Taps. He folded flags, staring stoically ahead as he passed those flags to mourning family members. He saluted fallen airmen, and tried not to let their deaths go unnoticed. Like the men and women on Parliament Hill, he followed orders and served his duty to his country.
I wished he were with me as I watched the Canadian military. I listened to bagpipes instead of bugles. I witnessed the sharp motions of the soldiers transforming their rifles into bayonets. I scrutinized their movements as though I could somehow bring to life Mac’s Honor Guard detail. I never got to see him in his full dress blues, gloves, and accoutrement as he stood at funerals last summer. I’m sure he was as awe-inspiring as the Royal Guards I watched in Ottawa. I wished Mac were there to watch them with me. I wished even more that I’d had the chance to see him in action.
I’m sure you’re so proud of Mac for all that he’s doing for the country! Georgia in the summer, I’m sure is quite unbearable, but it’s good to know that there are those who won’t let us forget the fallen heroes of our nation. Kudos to Mac and to you for raising a fine young man!
Thanks! He’s volunteered to do it again. Maybe I’ll get a chance to see him in action. It’s such a beautiful ceremony; makes me cry every time.