Rob Odette: "'On behalf of the Secretary of the Navy, and a grateful nation, I present this flag in honor of your loved one's dedicated service.'
"I've said those words maybe twenty or thirty times. I folded many flags before I presented the first flag. When I noticed an obviously distressed woman in her early thirties, I asked the funeral director if that was the deceased's widow, his next-of-kin, the normal recipient of the flag. He said it was, but the man who's remains we were laying to rest had made a special request that his flag was to be presented to his son, a boy about twelve years old. My first time presenting was to be to a child who no longer had a father.
"The last time I presented was to a WWII Veteran's widow, an old woman in a wheelchair who clutched my hands while I presented the flag and wouldn't let go. She just kept wailing 'Thank you! Thank you so much! God bless you!' before I could pull away as gently as I could to render a final salute. It was the greatest honor I had in my twenty years of service, and the duty I will remember the most vividly.
"Please have a burger and a beer. Please enjoy your weekend, but please pause for just a moment and remember the fallen this weekend."
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