Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things Military

There's been a fair amount of military activity around life lately. There was a "welcome home" ceremony outside my office this afternoon for the 261st Signal Brigade. This is the Delaware National Guard unit that includes our State's Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden.

There was a "send off" ceremony for the 361st almost exactly a year ago. In that case, VP candidate Joe Biden spoke. Today he was back as the sitting Vice President. In both cases, that meant a strong Secret Service presence and security details. Things were a bit more intense this time around.

Meanwhile, last week, my parents hosted my father's cousin Mary Frances and elements of her family for a few days for the burial, at Arlington National Cemetery, of her husband. He was John Dunn, a retired colonel who served, to great distinction, in World War II and in Korea.

Colonel Dunn was a remarkable man, and a great hero. His memory is sacred to the many soldiers who survived a Korean prisoner of war camp thanks in part to his leadership.

His burial was suitably impressive; I'm sorry I was not able to go. My brother John, who was there, summed it up well in a tweet he posted afterwards:
Full honors military service at Arlington today: horse-drawn caisson, band, bugler, 3-volley salute, honor guard, flag ceremony, plus mass
Karen and I had dinner with my folks last night. They regaled us with the story of the Arlington ceremony and the honors to Colonel Dunn. I was thinking about that as I watched the welcome home for the Delaware National Guard troops today.

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