21 Gun Salute

I was there
Watching the light
Fade from his eyes

Now he lays before me
Dressed in black
His normally rosy red cheeks drained of color
His welcoming arms now lay by his side

Tears fall from everyone's eyes
Like rain falling from the heavens above
The salty substance
Running down my face

The haunting melody
Flowing from the bagpipes
Its melody still with me today

As the sad sound faded the priest spoke
He spoke of how great the man in the casket was
Proud, patriotic, powerful, parental
He spoke of the deeds he'd done while serving in Vietnam
He spoke of things I did not yet understand
Then he signaled for the casket to be lowered

While my grandfather dropped from sight
Seven fellow servicemen fired three shots each
No more, no less

Each shot hurt more than any bullet ever could
Piercing the very soul within me
Ripping apart everything
This little three year old had ever known

I carry this memory
With me today
Of a time that
Brought depression to my family
Though it is fuzzy it is still powerful
Of a man that brought a smile to everyone
Losing the long, painful battle
That many fight everyday





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