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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Teddy: Jan 29, 1926 - Oct 30, 2004

My stepfather died two weeks ago due to complications from a stroke. He was 79. I knew him for about ten years and I miss him terribly.
Teddy was a WWII veteran. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. We arrived at the cemetary and the rabbi said, "I haven't seen that in 15 years." He was referring to the color guard. Two soldiers took a flag which was sitting over his coffin during the funeral, and there at the cemetary, draped it once more over Teddy's coffin and presented it to my mother. Then a third soldier played taps. I cried, not out of grief, but because I was so moved.

I never expected to see that in my lifetime, let alone with my mother as the primary participant. I also had never wanted to bring a camera to a burial. I wish I had. I, and I suspect other people, would have liked to have had it. Mostly I think Teddy would have liked it.

We climbed back into the limousine and we laughed. Not because we were inappropriate, but because the last few months of the war, Teddy and his comrades came across a cache of wine in the Black Forest. They dumped their water, dumped their tents, and "didn't drink water for the rest of the war." So we were laughing that if the Army knew that was how they spent their time during the endgame, they'd knock on my mother's door to ask for the flag back. :)

She is considering what to do with the flag. I think when the time comes she should consider giving it to one of his four grandchildren.

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