Honor and Legacy

Three sixes I used to record a bitter, bitter day.

-AS

Honor and Legacy

  • Originally posted on a 6s community, August 16, 2010 at 10:27am

One

The pine casket held, in corporeal, so many of our hopes and dreams. The red, white, and blue shone in the blazing sun as the flag-covered box was loaded onto a horse-drawn carriage and carried from funeral to graveside. Men and women stopped everything to salute this man. The Army honor guard carried the box from the carriage to the vault as we filed in and around this hallowed place. The presentation of arms shot through my core and I clenched my five-year-old closely to me. The flag was folded and three shells were placed inside before the symbol of our freedom was handed to his father, who would give anything to keep his son and give back the flag.

Two

The chairman of the Citizen Potowatomi Nation prayed the warrior prayer as we stared past him to the gleaming pine. The Potowatomi nation has been a Christian nation since the 1700s, I learned. In Andy’s naming ceremony, he had been given a name that means “one who is like steel”. Not that he was hard and cold, but that he was straight and sure. A Pendleton blanket was given to his mother: the blanket symbolizes every part of life, as it was bag, bed, and shelter, and it symbolized the continuing support for those left behind. We bade farewell by dropping a pinch of tobacco into the vault as we finally said goodbye.

Three

The pine was lowered into a vault, and the vault was lowered into the ground, then began his Kentucky burial. He is the first of our family to be buried in Oklahoma. All the men who wanted and were able picked up a shovel and put spade to earth until the earthly visage of our dearly loved man was covered and the empty earthen pit was filled. I sat on the first row of seats with his lovee as others watched from various places. We inhaled the potion of newly-turned earth that will always hearken back to this moment, and we allowed the dry, hot earth to cover us in its fine mist. I am honored to have been buried that day, too, and I am honored to wash it away and continue with a new clarity about the impact one soul can have on this earth.

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