As the Clock Struck Noon

Today I was a small part of honoring those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice.  A wreath was laid at Arlington National Cemetery at noon.  Simultaneously, cemeteries across America participated in the same wreath laying ceremony.  It was humbling.  I was proud to be there.

Thanks to Wreaths Across America, people all over the country could be part of this important event.  There’s something special about small town America.  Seems to me that paying respect in my own back yard has far more meaning.  Close to home and close to heart.  It feels good.

Westford is the next town over and much like my small town of Groton, full of old homes and a pretty landscape.  People smile and greet each other.  Neighbors help neighbors.  The cemetery is close to the center of town.  For a small town it is a big cemetery, and full of the graves of veterans.

I did not know what to expect.  First, the Girl Scout Chorus chorus sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” acapella.  Beautiful!  Then, the Cub Scouts said the Pledge of Allegiance.  A member of each of the Armed Forces laid one of the wreaths.  Sergeant Curran Huff, our classroom pen-pal last year, was one of the wreath layers.  It was wonderful to watch him!

Have you ever heard TAPS played?  It is beautiful and stirring to listen to the lone bugle.  Each note seems to hang in the air.  A fitting closing to an important event.

Volunteers stayed to place a wreath on every headstone of a veteran.  Quite a lengthy and worthy task.  Next year I will stay.

People often wait to honor members of our military, past and present, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and the Fourth of July.  That’s like only giving thanks at Thanksgiving, or only spreading cheer at Christmastime. Saying thanks and remembering should happen all the time.

It did today.

Jennie

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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50 Responses to As the Clock Struck Noon

  1. beetleypete says:

    That sounds very moving indeed, Jennie. And it was good that ‘your’ sergeant was there too.
    I have been to the Menin Gate in Ypres. (Belgium) Every evening of every day of the year, The Last Post is played. Traffic is stopped, and tourists look on as the bugler honours the dead of WW1. It is heart-wrenching.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      My goodness! Thank you, Pete, as I had to look up and hear The Last Post. It is much like TAPS. Very moving. My husband knew the Menin Gate, but I did not. Shame on me. Americans really have no idea what it’s like to have a war fought on our soil. The Civil War is the last one, and that was brother against brother. I can only imagine how profound it is to hear The Last Post played at Menin Gate. Yes, heart-wrenching. Best to you!

    • Norah says:

      Wow! What a tribute to the fallen. A wonderful reminder of their sacrifice.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Each time an event like this is reported or shared, we are reminded of their sacrifice.

  3. I agree with Dan.
    And, yes, there is something deeply soul-stirring during a solo rendition of taps at the cemetery, to be sure.

  4. srbottch says:

    Wonderful, Jennie. Eternal come in all sizes and colors. Honoring those who sacrificed it all is so important. I hope we , as a people, never lose sight of the importance of their contributions.

    >

  5. What a lovely tribute and wonderful idea to honor those who have sacrificed. Thank you for sharing, Jennie.

  6. What a lovely experience to be a part of, Jennie.

  7. Norah says:

    I agree, Jennie. It’s important to remember every day and give thanks for those who sacrificed for our benefit. What a moving experience.

  8. Darlene says:

    What a wonderful event to be part of. I would find it very emotional. Visiting a Canadian War Memorial Cemetary in Holland had me in tears.

  9. Thanks for the beautiful post, Jennie. You brought tears to my eyes.

  10. sjhigbee says:

    A moving ceremony and a reminder of all those whose lives have been cut short –
    “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.”

  11. swamiyesudas says:

    My Dear Jennie, greetings, and Thanks for sharing.

    But, as I write this, and as I was reading Yours, I have Tears in my eyes and Anger in my heart.

    India does not have too many War veterans. And those that are seem to be getting by.

    All my knowledge of the West comes from reading and seeing the photographs; have never been West.

    Through Your post I would like to address the Citizens of the US, to state that ‘THE LIVING VETERANS ARE BEING FORGOTTEN AND IGNORED.’

    Aren’t a Very Large of them members of the ‘Homeless?’ After Such sacrifice, to be Ignored, on the Streets, even Hungry! I am Angry indeed.

    Hope the US does More for its Veterans. My salutations to them. And Regards to You, my Dear.

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, and you are right. The VA (Veterans Administration) is the organization for that purpose. And they do a pretty good job. Many vets are proud and do not want to seek help. I’m glad that we work hard to help our vets, yet there is always more we can do. Best wishes!

  12. swamiyesudas says:

    Reblogged this on lovehappinessandpeace and commented:
    *******
    Hello, Folks, for this moving post, I wrote a comment to Jennie, and I would like that to be the introduction to my Reblog.

    My Dear Jennie, greetings, and Thanks for sharing.

    But, as I write this, and as I was reading Yours, I have Tears in my eyes and Anger in my heart.

    India does not have too many War veterans. And those that are seem to be getting by.

    All my knowledge of the West comes from reading and seeing the photographs; have never been West.

    Through Your post I would like to address the Citizens of the US, to state that ‘THE LIVING VETERANS ARE BEING FORGOTTEN AND IGNORED.’

    Aren’t a Very Large of them members of the ‘Homeless?’ After Such sacrifice, to be Ignored, on the Streets, even Hungry! I am Angry indeed.

    Hope the US does More for its Veterans. My salutations to them. And Regards to You, my Dear.
    *******

  13. L. Marie says:

    Sounds like a beautiful service, Jennie.

    I have heard Taps played at my uncle’s burial. He also received a 21 gun salute.

  14. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This is another wonderful post from Jennie.

  15. Jeannie, this is wonderful and to military families, it means more than I can say. Thank you!

    • Jennie says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Karen. It was a stirring event. Seeing our Sergeant Curran place a wreath was special. I plan to volunteer and place wreaths next year. The commentator suggested to the volunteers that they write down all the information on the headstone, then go home and Google the veteran. Learn about that person. WOW!

  16. Reblogged this on K. D. Dowdall and commented:
    Jennie, thank you for a wonderful post and to military families, it means more than I can say. 🙂

  17. Thank you for sharing this and I wish I hadn’t come so late. I’ve never heard Taps played without sobbing profusely. Growing up on military bases around the world, we heard it often and it always, always moved me to tears as does the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance. Maybe I’m just sappy that way but they always make me cry. I know too well the cost of serving our country and never take it for granted. That said, you know why I almost never go to public displays for our service persons. It would be embarrassing for everyone.

  18. dgkaye says:

    The perfect time of year to honor those who have fallen for their country Jennie. 🙂 x

  19. Sounds like a very special ceremony, so glad you were able to be part of it. I’ve always felt strong emotions during the playing of Taps, too. Thanks to Pete for sharing the Belgium video, equally moving.

  20. It seems we have lost the habit of going to cemeteries in general. Perhaps we associate them with the baggage of unresolved childhood issues. But we are missing such an opportunity to consider those who have gone before — including those who died serving our country. People often mistake that cemeteries are for the dead, but they are very much for the living; to touch and consider our pasts, and reconcile our responsibilities to fulfill lives which are half as worthy as those who have gone before. How else can we see that we are part of a human tradition, if we do not embrace our responsibility to remember those who have gone before, and to honor them by living the lives they should have lived?

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