This past Friday afternoon I attended the funeral of the father of a long-time friend at Arlington National Cemetery.  I’ve blogged often about my three heroes — my father, my Uncle Art and my best friend’s father, General Guthrie.  All three men were retired military officers and all have been laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery over the past four years.

Although it’s obviously a very solemn and difficult time, it’s simply incredible how the US Military pays respects to its’ veterans.  From carrying the body in the coffin or urn to the final resting place to the gun salute to the playing of Taps to the crisp and precise flag presentation, it is done with great honor and distinction by the military soldiers of the Honor Guard.

There was also one unique and special part that I had not previously seen.  Since our friend’s father was an Air Force veteran, in his honor, there was a 4-plane flyover which included one jet pulling away in the “Missing Man” formation.  Wow, there is not a more powerful sight to witness.  It is stunning to watch.

It was raining on Friday afternoon so I used the umbrella to shield my face since the tears were flowing.   The tears were flowing for the loss of my friend’s father as well as the thoughts of my three heroes.  But, inside of me, I was also bursting with pride.  Proud to be an American.  Proud to be a US Military brat.  As always, thank you to the many, many US Military service personnel who have proudly served this country for so many years.   And, thank you to the US Military for honoring your veterans in such a honoring and deserving manner.