See them in pressed uniforms, their black shoes in the cemetery grass. Hear the crack of a rifle volley, then another, then another. Listen to the sound of taps as it rolls across the fields.
Each ceremony is about dignity, about respect for service.
“It’s an honor to be asked by a family,” Redding says. “It’s always a privilege.”
A grateful nation
Harold Redding retired as a first sergeant after serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and later with the National Guard and the Army Reserve. Today, he schedules 300-plus honor guard services a year, crisscrossing York County.
And while he’s personally performed more than 600, he still remembers the first: that son of a soldier in tears. It’s never gotten easier, he says. Tomorrow will be just as difficult.
But purpose dampens pain.
So, he’ll begin again: “On behalf of the President of the United States and grateful nation…”
Tears will fall around him. But one sergeant will lean in and quietly complete his duty to a family. He’ll finish once more with a whisper.
“May God grant you peace and understanding.”