We leave for Florida in the morning for a planned trip. I will leave the big boys with my best friend as Jack and I travel again to Arkansas for Grandpa Mike's services. The big boys won't be able to attend due to the financial strain of airline tickets.

Today when I knew he had passed away, I went and got red, white and blue balloons and asked my pastor if he would say a prayer for us before we released them. A 21 balloon salute. I wanted to boys to have some sort of memorial too.

My pastor, amazing man, not only showed up wearing red, white and blue, but he gave a short memorial about Grandpa Mike based on things I had told him. Then he read the following poem.

By Howard Schnauber

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is "Old Glory".
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little higher,
My colors a little truer.

I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped -- I am saluted.
I am loved -- I am revered.
I am respected -- and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war
for more then 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg,
Shiloh and Appomattox.
I was there at San Juan Hill,
the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome
and the beaches of Normandy, Guam,
Okinawa, Korea, and Vietnam.
I was there. I led my troops.
I was dirty, battle-weary and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me
And I was proud.

I have been burned, torn and trampled
on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have been soiled upon, burned, torn
and trampled on the streets of my country.
And when it's by those whom I've served in battle -- it hurts.
But I shall overcome -- for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth
and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness
to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.

When I am torn into strips
and used as bandages
for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I lie in the trembling arms
of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I am proud.


If you knew him, you would know how very appropriate that poem would feel to him. He was a patriot, old school.

Today was hard, but the boys did a good thing for themselves and for me.

There is much we will miss about you, but nothing we regret. See you when we get there.

4 Responses
  1. Amy Says:

    Monica, what a loving tribute for Grandpa Mike. Special prayers on behalf of you and your family for safe travels to FL and also as you and Jack travel to AR for the services.

  2. Monica, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure he knew how much you loved him, and I hope you can find comfort in knowing that he's in a better place now.


  3. Anna Says:

    OH Monica, that is so moving.
    Glad your pastor helped to make the day extra special! I'll say a special prayers for Grandpa Mike!

  4. Such a terrible loss for both you and your family, Monica. I hope that being at the service with your youngest will help.

    The poem and the service from your pastor were truly amazing.


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