Skip to comments."Only Marines Touched That Casket"
Posted on 01/25/2007 8:53:45 PM PST by stylin19a
I had the privilege tonight of observing how the USMC brings home their dead. The thought hit me that I have no idea, nor have I ever seen how our Soldiers are treated. I just hope we are at least as respectful. Tonight as we arrived at the Louisville airport, the aircraft captain announced that there was a USMC Sgt on board the aircraft who was on escort duty. The captain asked all onboard to remain seated til the Sgt had left the aircraft. As we pulled into our gate I observed a lot of people moving around in the shadows. I naturally assumed it was the detail preparing to receive the body. What actually happened was quite impressive and quite a testament to the Corps and to the city of Louisville.
The receiving detail stood up consisting of a color guard with US flag, USMC flag and the 8 casket bearers, the OIC, several other NCOs and 3 Marines in utility uniform. I must admit I was taken back by the presence of the 3 Marines in utilities as all other Marines were in Dress Blues. I later was able to figure out the purpose. Additionally, there was an honor guard from the Marine Corps League (I believe they are called that, something the Army cannot replicate) and a piper. Three Delta pilots joined the Marines in the formation. I assumed they were former servicemen or current reservists. Following the off load of all the baggage, the cargo hold remained open. Finally the 3 Marines in utility uniform were sent into the hold to prepare the casket, flag and to position the casket. This was a somewhat special moment as only Marine hands touched that casket and it was planned that way. Have no idea if it was treated the same in Atlanta, but I can tell you only Marine hands touched that casket.
As the casket was lowered halfway down the trolley and stopped, the casket bearers took their positions. Then the Marine Corps League followed behind them in two ranks, one on each side. They all presented arms as the casket came out of the aircraft. Then there was stillness.
As if scripted, from across the airport came a long line of cars with blinking lights and the hearse. Once they were in position, the family was escorted to the casket. It was probably around 30 members led by what I assumed was a very young widow and her young son. For about 10 minutes the family mingled around the casket while the Marines and Leaguers stood at attention. Finally, the family was led back to the hearse.
Then the casket was lowered the remainder of the way and the casket bearers moved through a cordon of the Marine Corps League folks to the hearse, while the bagpiper piped "Amazing Grace."
There were about 70 of us who had just left the aircraft, still in the terminal watching this entire ceremony for about 40 minutes. I will say, not a dry eye in the place and many, many snivels. The Corps really treated their own with respect.
I have no idea who the dead Marine was. I assume he was a Sgt., as his escort was a Sgt. I don't know who his family was, nor if they had any influence. I just know the USMC treated him with total respect and the city of Louisville did also.
As the young Sgt. escorting the body left the aircraft and walked by me, I said, "Semper Fi, Marine." As I have been many times before, I was struck that in 231 years our Army has been unable to produce something similar. Somehow, "Hooah" just doesn't seem right at a time like this.
I trust we do just as well. If not, shame on us. These kids deserve all the respect our Army and country can provide.
Glad my home town did him proud.
I don't remember how many years ago it was, but it was the week that the lewinsky story broke I attended a funeral for a friend of mine at Arlington. My friend had been in the Army Air Corps in WW II. Got out, got a job with the city of L.A. and enlisted in the infrantry for Korea. Got dinged in Korea, treated at the 4077th MASH.
He was buried by the "OLD GUARD", and they did it right for him. It was the first time I'd been to Arlington and seen the "OLD GUARD" do the service for a soldier. As a Marine, I was impressed. Good to see this Army General Officer appreciates how we take care of our own. Semper Fi
Some Army folk performed honors at my grandfather's funeral. It really brought a feeling of reverence and inspiration to see those young men and women treat a man they had never met with so much respect and loyalty.
I mean Trace Adkins, sheesh and g'night.
"There were about 70 of us who had just left the aircraft, still in the terminal watching this entire ceremony for about 40 minutes. "
Fortunately the plane didn't need to fly out again in half an hour.
What does that mean.
Played on the bagpipes.
God bless our troops!
God bless'em all.
Great story...Semper Fi.
Welcome to the family, investigateworld.
My son currently serves on a post and area honor guard for the US Army. I will have an update on that duty, probably in April.
Now if we could ever impress upon the democrap politicians and the limp wrist republican politicians that vote with them the importance of the mission in which these warriors are engaged.
LCPL RushLake USMC is on duty today.
Great job stylin19a.
Thanks for the tears .
Harpies can pound snad.
Thank you! Bump for an awesome post...
Harpies can pound sand.
What Doctor Raoul said....and emphasized.
God Bless 'em all.
I had never been to a burial for a serviceman before but I was much impressed by how it was handled by the people at Ft. Logan. I almost lost it when the honor guard presented the flag to my mom. Dad wasn't one who talked about his service, but that was typical of many of his generation who served. They did it, and that was that. That's not to say he wasn't proud of it. It's obvious to me by his request to be buried at Ft. Logan that he was proud of his service.
Thanks for posting this article.
I went my Uncle's funeral at Arlington, 21 gun salute, flag presentation, taps. It was one of the most emotional experiences of my life.
They asked us if we wanted someone to play taps, but I knew I would lose it if they did. Since dad did not retire from the service they would not do the gun salute, but that was fine with us. The cemetary was beautiful, especially with bright sunshine and a fresh new falling of snow, and the service was reverant and touching. I took one picture that I will cherish just after it was over. It was dad's casket inside the outdoor shelter with all the bronze plaques representing each branch of service above it.
I am proud that 1235 caskets in Arlington have my fingerprints on them.
Obviously not any Marxist-Stalinist-Leninist-Homosexual loving Liberal Socialist Dimocrats stopped to watch. Those pigs had to hurry on to get a beer and some finger-food.
As for the Army not having a saying or even a song like the Corps song, that was one thing that I actually always wondered why someone in the Army had never come up with a decent song and saying for the Army. But, I can only think that it was because the Army was always a conscripted Army at times, where the Corps, Navy and now Air Force have always been something that you joined. Yes, you can join the Army also, but, during the draft days, many more were drafted to the Army than the other services. Thus, I guess only, that the Army being a conscripted Army in the days that the Corps came up with their song and saying, just did not have that magic allure that the Corps and Navy did. I love the Corps song. Even the Air Force song, is great, and the Navy's anchors away is great also.
If you were there in '91 you may have been one of the attendants.
"They asked us if we wanted someone to play taps, but I knew I would lose it if they did."
Happens to me every time.
It does that to a lot of people. When I was in college, the band was asked to come and play for the VFW at a flag burning ceremony (retiring old worn out flags). We played the National Anthem and other patriotic songs. When they asked us if we could have someone blow taps when they started burning the flags, our band director grabbed two of our trumpet players and sent one of them running all the way across to the other side of the fairgrounds where we were to stand just out of sight. His job was to echo the first trumpet player from a distance when he heard him play. The effect was incredibly moving. I remember people in the stands sobbing out loud.
I have a lot of sad memories of that time.....
Very sorry about that, God bless you for your service.
thanks for the post, very moving
God bless the USMC!
Semper fidelis BUMP!
Great article. Thanks for the ping.
Thanks for posting.
So sorry you had to feel that way. A belated and sincere thanks to you.