A Soldier’s Passing

On the 10th anniversary of his passing, I thought I would rerun this tribute to my late father.
Six soldiers from the honor guard carried the casket to the grace site. They held a tautly stretched flag in place over the casket while the minister expressed the legacy left to his four children by this survivor, not only of World War II and the Korean War, but also the war in his own home. For the overseas campaigns, he was decorated with the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, three Campaign Stars and an Assault Arrowhead, the Presidential Unit Citation and the Royal Order of George I. For the battle at home he earned the deep respect of a daughter that loved him and will miss him dearly.
With the eulogy’s end, seven soldiers fired three somber shots into the air and the muted, poignant strains of Taps drifted on the late-summer breeze, tribute from an unseen bugler, a reminder of how fleeting and precious is the time we have to honor the living while they are yet with us.
But your legacy of wisdom and strength, your love for children and young people, your spirit of adventure, your sense of honor, your off-beat sense of humor, your generosity to those in need – I hope these are your legacy to me. And I am proud to look back now and see that my footprints have frequently been placed in yours through the years, like footprints in the snow.
In Memory of Colonel William A. Darden
March 29, 1910 to August 30, 1993
From our archives, October 1, 2003

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