As I stood on the curb shoulder to shoulder with 3 brave men I was shivering like it was zero degrees with a 20 mile per hour wind. My shoulders and even my knees were shaking. It was raining, not hard but constant and there was a little breeze but the temperature was closer to fifty-five degrees than a negative number with wind chill. Between my freshly cleaned white gloves was a symbol so great It felt like the weight of the world in that plastic case.
It was our turn to step off the curb while the Marine on my left called cadence and we stepped in unison. As we moved toward the center of the street preparing to follow the group in front of us, I still could not stop shivering. I have been outside in cold weather so many times but have never felt such a reaction, this was no normal chill overtaking me.
The four of us began our march down the street, the two outside with arms, the proud next to me holding the umbrella and calling cadence and me with holding on for dear life with the packaged entrusted to me; the item wrapped in plastic with the white stars faced up in a brilliant blue background.
Left, right left. I was concentrating on staying on step with these brave men on both sides of me. These brave men who were there once again to protect me and help me accomplish the task at hand. These brave men who so proudly served this great nation and no doubt would do it again when called upon.
As I walked down the street gripping that very special package it struck me, the shivering was not for the cold of temperature but the cold the many families feel when they are handed that very special symbol when they lose a loved one who so proudly gave the ultimate for our nation. Imagine the shiver they must feel when they are first handed the last item that has kept their son, daughter, husband, wife, Mom or Dad warm on their last journey.
I could feel that shiver from all the families who on this very solemn day never forget those they lost. For a short period of time I was entrusted with a great Honor…not just the Honor of walking with three of America’s proudest and bravest men but the Honor of carrying our Flag folded with 13 folds to symbolize what so many brave Americans have given to give me the right to humbly walk shoulder to should with some of America’s finest. I am and will forever be grateful for all the men and women in our military who have, do and will continue to protect live, liberty and the pursuit of happiness