Over the years, tradition and custom fall away.
So many things Americans used to do, even took for granted that everyone would do, no longer exist today.
How many couples walking along the city sidewalks know it’s proper for the man to be on the outside, closest to the road, for example?
Yes, so much has been lost. That’s why when Erin Hester spotted a soldier doing something strange in a driving rainstorm, she was confused. What was this mystery Army man doing out there?
He was standing at attention outside his car, getting soaked, but Erin didn’t understand who or what he was saluting…
That’s when she realized:
He was saluting a funeral procession that was passing. It was merely a form of respect by this soldier and though he’s not required to do it, he did it because of that one important word: Respect.
When Erin returned home, she immediately put her story on Facebook, at which point it quickly went viral.
“This made my heart happy to see the amount of respect that this gentleman showed a family that he doesn’t even know,” she said.
So many were touched by this story. It helps to know that other human beings will still do respectful things, even if it means getting soaked and maybe risking illness.
One responder to the story said:
“When my dad passed away we were following the casket through a not wonderful side of town.. we passed a bus stop and a man who was waiting for the bus stood up and took off his hat.
I cried and it took everything I had to not go hug him. It’s amazing when someone does something for nothing in return.”
How we respect and recognize the lives of others is our business, of course, but we should still make an effort. We should still honor those who have passed on.
This soldier did it his way and chances are, there were many times in the past when other soldiers saluted passing funeral processions; we just don’t remember them now, all these years later.
Well, I’m pretty sure people will remember this mystery soldier. And for a long time, too.