Saturday, April 27, 2013

Memorial Service for Sean Collier

The day dawned a chilly and overcast 40ºF  -- the members of the orchestra and choir stood in line for security shivering around 8 am, waiting for the bomb squad dogs to arrive to check over our instrument cases. 

The raising of the flag was a carefully coordinated effort.

My view from where I was sitting. 

Snipers already in place.

The Water is Wide - played with James Taylor.

James Taylor is in the center of the photo on the main stage.

Members of law enforcement begin to file in.

The orchestra and Simmons Hall (yes, more snipers).

The Honor Guards from precincts all over the country and Canada.

The sun finally came out (leaving all of us with memorial sunburns). 

My last photo before the ceremony started.

After we played our prelude, we stood for about thirty minutes as the honor guards walked in, the casket was escorted by the bagpipe and drum band, and as the family entered the memorial.  Our perch on the stage set to the side really was quite the spot to see the political entourage, the grieving family, the mayor, the governor, all the VIPs---but since I didn't really want secret service to take away my camera, no pictures of Biden, sorry. 

James Taylor singing "The Water is Wide"

The rest of the ceremony was heartfelt and moving---the things that I could hear, the bagpipes, Taps, watching them bring in the casket.  But, whomever was setting up sound for the stages neglected to give us feedback from the main stage, so all of the musicians missed the speeches, and apparently Joe Biden blustering away, as he does.

Somehow, being a part of a ceremony and not being able to hear the words, well, when you're in your own thoughts, you can selfishly memorialize the occasion in the best way for you. 

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