During the nine years when my life was lived on and around military bases, I was an incidental observer of Taps, which is played to mark the end of each day and also to honor those who served and paid the ultimate price. When Taps is played, life on base is suspended. Vehicles pull over and remain parked. Military personnel in uniform stand at attention and salute. The rest of us stand in silence. At times I would feel my eyes fill as I appreciated the sanctity of the act, but today was different.
This afternoon I was was privileged to attend the military funeral held in honor of a loved-in member of my family: Russ Decker, father to my sister’s husband. Russ was a WWII veteran and genuine hero; his military and subsequent life story are both compelling and motivating. Russ was a person who genuinely saved the world, both during and after his time in service. Today I listened to the bugle and for the first time felt its meaning to my core. To me, it signaled a true ending: time divided between the world with him in it and the task of finding a way forward without him and the sacrifices of his generation. Today, life was suspended as Taps was played and then as always, life resumed. Emulating a life lived in this way won’t be easy. Time to get to work.