Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Day to Honor, Celebrate and Remember

Disclaimer:  If you are a "normal" follower of this blog, this entry was not written by John, nor does it have anything to do with bagging any peaks.  This is your chance to bail.

Last December 29th, I lost my little brother, Bill Lucas.  This November 17th, we had the honor of celebrating him at a ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery.


To start, we spent an evening with John's sister, Kathy and her husband, JC in Alexandria.  Then my niece, Hailey and my brother and sister (Rod and Julie) showed up mid-morning Sunday, and we just sort of took over Kathy's living room for several hours.  All was good, though.

John and Kathy

The Lucas clan (and John)
 
Since the ceremony was on Monday, we spent a few hours Sunday afternoon kicking around Old Town Alexandria, VA.  John and I are fortunate in that we always seem to have a great time when family gets together.  This time didn't disappoint.  Although we were visiting for a more solemn reason, we still had many laughs...and tears.

Monday morning dawned cool, wet and rainy.  Considering we left single digits and 8 inches of snow back home, we weren't complaining, too much, about the weather.  After the 80 minute drive of 15 miles (I don't miss traffic like that!), and one wrong turn, we arrived!


The Fall colors were beautiful!
 
We met the rest of the family in small gathering room and took a few pictures.

A family shot with Sister-in-law Jane and William Robert Lucas IV

Our last sibling picture
 

Once we all arrived, there were two family groups that drove down from PA that morning (an early morning, 5 hour drive with kids.  YIKES!), we were ready to proceed to the cemetery grounds.

The unfolding of the flag, prior to the ceremony
 
 
 Our sister, Deb, spent a few months in Afghanistan this time last year.  A flag for Bill was flown on Christmas Day.  Unfortunately he never saw that flag.  We'd hoped this flag would have been able to be used for this ceremony, but alas, since it isn't the same size they practice with, they wouldn't allow his flag to have the honor.

The 21 gun salute participants


The re-folding of the flag towards the end.
 

The flag presentation to Jane

After this portion of the ceremony, we walked over to where Bill's Niche is, for the final portion of the service.

His final resting place

The temporary identifying marker

As we began making our afternoon plans and heading out of the cemetery, the skies opened up and just POURED.  Thank goodness it held off for us!

We had a small gathering (only 18 of us) afterwards at Chilis for lunch before we all had to head back to; home, the airport, school.


One of the best parts though, was that I got to get my hands on my two new great(s):

Great niece, June

Great nephew, "Little Bill"
 
In all, it was a quick weekend trip, but well worth the time spent!



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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen