Twenty-One Gun Salute

Over the past few weeks, my family and I have celebrated the life of my last great uncle who left this world on the day before my birthday. This past weekend marked the day of his memorial when family from all over the United States gathered together in order to honor his life’s accomplishments, while embarking down memory lane in the process. Most of my family who do not live near myself, have not had the chance to watch me grow throughout the years. In uniting together for my great uncle, the service brought our family together for the first time in a number of years.

My family and I celebrated the life of my great uncle by giving him a full military service, an event no one would be able to forget. I have only attended two military services, and I have vivid memories from both services. People always describe military services in relation to, “There will be no dry-eye in the crowd.” Experiencing a military service will give you goosebumps, nonetheless.

My family and I gathered together while the military men performed the twenty-one gun salute, before listening to the silence-inducing Taps played by a bugler. After the twenty-one gun salute was performed, the men gathered together in order to secure some of the blank shells in the folding of the American flag. The folded flag was then presented to our family, honoring the service of my great uncle.

The service of my great uncle was a memorable memorial. The twenty-one gun salute has always been of interest to me, dating back to the period of the early warriors. Speculation mentions that the number seven was chosen due to the Biblical significance. On the contrary, the three gun shots are suggested to be chosen due to the significance of the number within ancient civilizations. At the two military funerals of family members that I have attended, seven men gave the salute by firing their guns three times each. The salutes are always in odd numbers.

The twenty-one gun salute is considered to be one of the highest honors a nation could render. Experiencing a salute in person is absolutely breathtaking. My great uncle was given one of the highest honoring salutes, while his family gathered together to celebrate his adventurous life. After the service, our family came together that afternoon to merely “catch up.”

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The twenty-one gun salute

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A blank shell I was able to keep from the memorial

Thank you for reading this memoir of my great uncle!

See you soon,

Jennifer

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