Service at Arlington for Ted

In early April, I had the privilege of attending the memorial service and burial of my cousin, Ted Willcox, at Arlington Cemetery. Ted had a very distinguished career in the Signal Corps of the Army, and retired as a Colonel.  He was a true hero, someone I always admired and looked up to. I miss him terribly.

My wife and I had spent the day before walking around the Mall in downtown Washington.  Having seen them on several earlier visits to DC, I was once again moved by the war memorials – Vietnam, Korea and World War II.  It’s overwhelming to think of the sacrifice so many of our servicemen and women have made on our behalf. Then, to go to Arlington on a very warm, bright Spring day, with not a cloud in the sky. Acre after acre of tombstones and monuments.  So many, so many who have served our country selflessly.

There are about 20 funeral and memorial services everyday at Arlington. One might imagine that the chaplains, the honor guards and the bands might fall into a dull routine having to do so many of these services. And yet the team that participated in Ted’s service was outstanding in every way and were fully present to Ted’s family and friends.  In the photo below, the flag in presented to Marilyn, Ted’s widow. 

The careful, kind and considerate presentation of our nation’s colors by one soldier to the wife of another.  Most of us cried.  And finally, Perhaps the image that meant the most to me from that day – the salute of one of the honor guard captains, bidding a final farewell to our dear, beloved Ted.


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April 2010
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