PATRIOT GUARD - "Greater Love"

by Brenda Nelson August. 19, 2012 3458 views

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (The Holy Bible - John 15:13)

Larry and I had the joy of riding with the Patriot Guard today. They are a group of veterans and their families who ride motorcycles to the funerals of other veterans. They are asked to accompany the body for various reason, even to discourage protesters who often show up to disrupt military funerals. We didn't have any idea what to expect today, but it was a very emotional experience, even though we didn't know the deceased or his family. He was an 89 year-old Marine from WWII who had spent his life with a small-community fire department in Southern Missouri.

When we arrived at the funeral home, we were given a 3x6 American flag, then we stood in line and held it upright while the services were held. Then we “mounted up” and led the procession about 10 miles (at 20 mph!) to the cemetery. There we took the flags again and stood at attention during the graveside services. I was doing all right until a bugler on the hillside behind us began to play “Taps” - and I almost dissolved into the ground! The Marine Corp meticulously folded the flag over the casket and presented it to the widow in her wheelchair. Then we all saluted, rolled our flags back up, and headed home.

It took us about 6 hours to complete the ride, the ceremonies, and the return, but it was worth every second just to see the tears in the eyes of the family who came by to thank us for being there. It was our honor!

Have a safe and restful Sunday, knowing that someone is standing guard to protect your country today!

It was a day for flags to fly high!

A teenage boy rode with his grandfather and had on this “Captain America” helmet

On a windy day, we stood and held the flags for over 90 minutes

This banner was on the front of a grocery store across from where we stood

I held the flag with the left hand and took photos with my right!

Most of the men there today were Vietnam Veterans, except for “Top Hat” who served in Korea. I loved the many different badges and emblems that emblazoned the leather vest of the PG members

The man holding the flag was our mailman for almost 20 years!

Leaving for the cemetery…

The lead bike with the flags

Behind us were the remaining bikes plus the fire trucks who were there to honor the former fireman. At the services they called his name and number on their pagers and, when he didn't answer after the third call, they told him they missed him and hoped he rested in peace. Then all of their pagers went silent.

This says it all…

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There are 16 comments , add yours!
Masoud Ahmadpoor 8 years, 5 months ago

viva both you :)

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sara G 8 years, 5 months ago

How very nice and emotional..

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Rachel Mvm 8 years, 5 months ago

as always, the coolest couple! i think it's a really remarkable cause!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Marsha 8 years, 5 months ago

Awesome post, Brenda! Sounds like an unforgettable day....and you have some excellent captures to add to you memories!! The Patriot Guard - what a wonderful organization and so well-respected by all!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Dunja 8 years, 5 months ago

Great set and tribute, wonderfully done Brenda !!!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Sherij 8 years, 5 months ago

[u][b]My most favorite bible verse!! [/b][/u]Great job and what an honor to be a part of ! Well done you two! What an experience also!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Julie Arnold 8 years, 5 months ago

Wow...what a wonderful cause...great post!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Gillian Parsons 8 years, 5 months ago

Makes one think a little deeper a great set.....

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Dan Ravasio 8 years, 5 months ago

Very emotional and very well captured Brenda...... And very good and quick thinking in #11!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Tomie Poodle 8 years, 5 months ago

great and moving report!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Moira 8 years, 5 months ago

Lovely tribute set , and smart t-shirts

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Josy 8 years, 5 months ago

Great set Brenda !

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
David 8 years, 5 months ago

Heroes will always be HEROES.
They live forever !
I can "feel" the emotions,..whilst watching the pictures and reading your great story!
Life is short... Lets live our life to its fullest unselfishly everyday!
Thank you for sharing.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Yves Monast 8 years, 5 months ago

looks like a great run well done....

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Larry Nelson 8 years, 5 months ago

I was very emotionally moved with all that happened today. This will be the first of many of these I hope we can be a part of. Nice series that captures the day!

8 years, 5 months ago Edited
Eric J H Joyce 8 years, 5 months ago

God Bless the USA, great post.

8 years, 5 months ago Edited