Except for the fact that there was a reason to even have a funeral, today might have been that day. My family gathered together today to honor my dear, little brother Phil as he was inurned at Arlington National Ceremony. We had snow yesterday (not a ton, but enough for school to be cancelled for the pups) and tomorrow is poised to usher in another snow storm with promises of 18 to 24 inches. Today, however, was a clear, crisp February day. Snow blanketed the grass, etching a scene of serenity and purity in our minds. The sky was the bluest blue. As we gathered in a covered pavilion the for the ceremony, the Washington Monument rising larger than life in the West, a cadre of soldiers executed their duties with reverence and dignity. Somehow, laying Phil to rest at Arlington fills all of us with comfort and pride.
The ceremony today was very different than the celebration of Phil's life we had at the mouse house the weekend following his death. That day was all about us. We needed that day to help us mend our hearts and gather with those that loved Phil and loved us. I'm not sure I can express this, but today was for Phil. I was proud that Phil was being laid to rest with so many of our country's heroes. He was and always will be a hero to me. I can't think of a more fitting way to honor him. Arlington is amazing and just being there is an emotional experience. The funeral today was steeped in ceremony and tradition and concluded with the playing of Taps and a 21-gun salute. (For the record, this is when I lost it.) Today my heart swelled with love for my brother and for my country.