Saturday, January 7, 2012

Farewell Sweet Kenneth

A somber post this Saturday evening. Our dear cousin passed away suddenly Dec. 10. We attended his memorial Friday in Denver. While he died suddenly and unexpectedly, Kenneth lived a full and wonderful life for 70+ years. I write a bit about him tonight to honor him and to honor the generations of soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. He served in the American Air Force for 23 years. While his ashes will be spread else where, he will be honored with a marker at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver.


Kenneth loved family. He was actually my mother-in-law's cousin. He and his immediate family lived in Denver, about an hour away from where most his relatives live here in Northern Colorado. Every few months the cousins would gather for breakfast at the Village Inn in Greeley. The breakfasts began with just 4 cousins, but over the years the membership grew and grew with out of state cousins adding attending the breakfast as an  item on their Bucket List. The gathering grew from those four original cousins to 20+ on some Saturdays. Three other cousins preceded Kenneth in death, and a fourth cousin, my mother-in-law, is in a nursing home struggling with dementia, unaware that her family is passing along.


Those of us who do not have military background  do not understand the sacrifice of military service until a time comes when we must face the reality of military service. I had been to Ft. Logan as a young teen when my best friend's daddy was buried there 4 decades ago. I was too young to feel the impact of the rows upon rows of graves over acres and acres of gently rolling hills.


Most impressive were the young men and women who performed the flag ceremony. I recalled the days of my early childhood when we were taught to honor and respect the American flag. The reverence and respect this day was touching and emotional.


Finally, Kenneth was honored with the 3 gun salute, most emotional and moving, but not quite as much as when the ceremony concluded with "Taps."

We will miss Kenneth, but promised each other at the end of the day to keep meeting for breakfast at the Greeley Village Inn.

Farewell Sweet Kenneth.


9 comments:

  1. I'm sorry for your loss Ann. I have tears in my eyes reading this. Thank You to your cousin and to all the countless others who have served and are serving.

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  2. I'm sorry for your loss Ann. I have tears in my eyes reading this. Thank You to your cousin and to all the countless others who have served and are serving.

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  3. What a lovely post to honour your cousin, may those breakfasts continue to reunite the cousins for a very long time.

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  4. I am sorry for your loss, too.
    The breakfasts were an investment in eternity, people caring for people and paying attention. Amazing.

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  5. I am so sorry for your family. I lost my cousin this last year..and as you know my cousins and I are close.
    That is one nice thing about having a blog, we can say what we feel and honor them

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  6. A sad post but beautifully written - you are lucky to such a close and large family

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  7. Sorry to hear of the news. But it does seem like a grand event especially when he was honored with 3 gun salutes.

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  8. Sorry to hear about your family's loss. A really nice post in memory.

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  9. Ann, I am sure I left a comment on here the day you posted. I am so sorry to hear of the family loss. Hope the breakfasts will continue in Kenneth's memory. May he RIP after such a wonderful life. Jackie in Surrey, UK.xx

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