When my father-in-law died of cancer September, 1997, my husband, while making the funeral arrangements tried to arrange a Navy flyover. C.C. had been a naval aviator in World War ll and the Korean War. He stayed in the Naval Reserve as long as he could and retired a Captain. He loved being in the Navy and was proud of his service.
C.C. had been active during his career in arranging flyovers for those in his unit or former units’ funerals. He had a knack of getting things done and could always be depended upon to do what he said he would do.
So when my husband as an active duty COL couldn’t arrange a flyover for his own father’s funeral he was heart-sick. He called his congressman, his senator and everyone he knew in the military but had no luck. The Clinton downsizing of the military had eliminated things like flyovers and funeral duties.
Although we all thought my husband did a wonderful job arranging C.C.’s funeral he didn’t think so himself. Along with the grief of losing his Dad he felt he had failed him when he couldn’t arrange a flyover.
Many people showed up for C.C.’s funeral at the National Cemetery. It was a clear September day and the pastor had just said a prayer when I looked up to the sky and on the left-hand side I saw a plane flying over. It was a Navy transport. That was significant because during his career C.C. had been a commander of a Navy transport squadron. Someone had remembered.
We all stopped, looked up and watched the plane fly over, knowing that the order had come from somewhere and the mission had been accomplished. My husband’s eyes teared up and he had a smile on his face as he knew that the service had not let him or his father down. C.C.’s eyes would have twinkled but he wouldn’t have said much about it had he been there for he was a man of few words but great deeds.
This Memorial Day our family honors C.C. Donoho’s memory and his lifetime of dedicated military service.
We also honor all those who have laid down their lives for this country. We pray that all those who are now serving in harms way will come home safe.
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