Sunday, June 13, 2004

Thomas has some thoughts on the picture I posted below.

I know many of you might be tired of me talking about President Reagan, but I did want to make a comment on the national funeral and the burial service. I had 24 hours and a wedding to think about it, and one thing I noticed was how mixed church and state were throughout the memorial services. As a Lutheran, I cringed with how much mixing there was. I do understand that church and state will often collide at funerals (the funeral for any vet proves that point) and it is understandable. Even then, there is still some separation there. You could have easily come to the conclusion that state and church were one throughout the memorial services. I also realized that, while the eulogies were well done and often beautiful (Lady Thatcher's eulogy comes to mind), they take the emphasis off of Christ and what he has done for us and places it squarely on the deceased. That is not to say there is no time for eulogies. Some of the best eulogies I ever heard happened spontaneously at the meal provided after the funeral. Stories about the deceased are told, memories revisited, and bad jokes are repolished.

Even with that, I am a high church sort of guy who likes pageantry. President Reagan's funeral services gave plenty of that. At his burial service, I knew exactly when tears would be shed and I tried to be strong. I tried, but Taps is just one of those songs which brings a finality to this whole process. Taps is the call to sleep. Taps will bring the tears. It didn't help that Mrs. Reagan broke down soon after. I shed tears of empathy for her. She lost he soulmate. I sat and watched C-SPAN until they finally cut away from their coverage while the US Air Force Band paid their last respects. Airman after airman stepping up to the coffin and saluting their President.

After all this sadness, I must say congratulations to Tanya and Nick. I hope the presents I bought you served you well.

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