Sunday, July 5, 2009
My Brother's Funeral Mass on The Fourth of July
My brother Paul who fought in Korea as an Army GI and saw action on Hill 78 and Old Baldy wanted a military funeral. Well, he got his wish and more----he had his funeral on a very patriotic day---The Fourth of July.
The Russia Catholic War Veterans Post 661 saluted their fallen comrade Paul and accompanied his casket from the funeral home in Versailles to St. Remy's Catholic Church for the funeral mass and then escorted the flag draped coffin to the St. Remy Cemetery where they gave Paul a 21 gun salute sendoff. After which they then presented his widow Iona with the folded tri-corner flag that had draped the coffin. It was a lovely service with many close family members participating as alter boys, pall bearers, readers, offertory bearers, etc. The church was filled with close to 300 relatives, friends, co-workers, neighbors who came to give Paul a great goodbye party. Paul would have loved it! And we all did enjoy it but thru tears of sadness with the realization that we will never again experience Paul's jokes and laughter. But let me add three final thoughts that warm my heart when I think of the death of my oldest brother who was also my godfather:
Paul lived a long and happy life. He was approaching 82 when he died last Wednesday.
Paul lived a good life as a faithful son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, neighbor and co-worker.
Paul had a peaceful death----he died in his sleep of a quick and massive heart attack.