Al Stroh served with our army in the Philippines during World War Two.

He was part of the Greatest Generation.  He made the world safe and came home to go to college.  He had done his bit.

So what did he do next?  He served with our navy for another 27 years. 



Seven Patriot Guard Riders attended his funeral.  He was of an earlier generation so he made the world we enjoy.  We stood outside the funeral home holding the flag he served.  It is our way of showing gratitude and respect.







The day was warm but cloudy.  Thunderstorms were expected.

The visitation was dry and calm.  I recognized some of the visitors:  American Legion Post 510 members, the village president, school board members.  The service followed and we waited outside as we usually do.  Then it was time to go.

And then the skies opened.



By the time we traveled the two miles to the cemetery, the worst was over.

Steve was waiting.  He worked with my wife at Fort Sheridan.



Steve would be one to handle the casket flag.



Jim volunteered to render Taps.



Jim did a beautifully sad call and then Steve folded the flag.



And then the rain became a feeble trickle.  It was as if we had passed through a transition.  Al Stroh had given order to the world for 90 years and his departure required a reordering.  He had handled three wars and witnessed several more, but now we would have to carry on without him.



During the ceremony, the slow, mournful salute is de rigueur.  As I rode out past this small group with my big flag trailing my bike, the uniforms produced smart salutes for Old Glory.