Mark’s funeral service was held November 15. His son, daughter, brother, and wife all spoke, holding up well and paying great tribute to Mark. I related previously about our group singing Amazing Grace (at Mark’s request). It was difficult to hold back tears as they wheeled the American flag draped casket out of the chapel, with family following, while the congregation stood.
That afternoon, the family and a small number of close friends travelled across Portland to the Willamette National Cemetery for Mark’s graveside service with military honors. Mark served 9 years in the United States Army, thus meriting the privilege. As the hearse arrived at the site there were soldiers standing and saluting. Six uniformed soldiers then carried the still flag draped casket from the hearse, placing it on a platform in the covered area where family sat and others stood. All was done in precision marching fashion.
The flag was then ceremoniously removed from the casket and folded. Three rifle volleys were fired and a bugler played taps. The flag was presented to the widow and another to the daughter, the soldier saluting afterwards. At this point I don’t know if there were any dry eyes amongst the viewers. What an impressive, moving experience it was, and paid great tribute to Mark for his life and military service.
Here is a link to a youtube video of a similar such service at this cemetery: