Today, Monday, 5 October 2020 we buried our compatriot, Patrick N. Kelly, from Mount Gilead, Ohio of whom I wrote about a few weeks ago.
The day started out foggy and a little chilly, but by noon the fog lifted and the temperature began to rise to a nice 65° and the sun came out revealing a lovely landscape of changing colors.
I car pooled with three compatriots from the Hocking Valley Chapter. At the funeral home in Cardington, my friends Matt and Sharon Hardman met us, as well as Ohio Society President Lee Wilkerson and his wife Shari, and 5 more compatriots from the Cincinnati Chapter, including our Ohio Society Chaplain, Pastor Ed Bonniwell.
We stood vigil over Patrick’s casket, two at a time, during the hour of visitation. We posted the Colors, and rotated the guards every 10 minutes. At the cemetery in Lexington (near Mansfield) we came to Present Arms, and after prayers and Eulogies, we fired a seven (7) musket, three volley salute. I think compatriot Pastor Kelly would have been pleased.
As the Color Guard Commander, I can never say enough good things about the guys from the Cincinnati Chapter, and my own Hocking Valley boys. I am proud of their dedication to our country, the SAR, and our Revolutionary ancestors. The guys from Cincinnati drove a good three hours to give an honorable ceremony of farewell to our Compatriot Kelly.
Our State Chaplain Ed Bonniwell’s never failing eloquence and booming voice echoed across the grounds as if the Lord himself was speaking to us from the heavens. And I guess he was, using Ed as his instrument.
After we fired our muskets, we went to “Mourn Muskets” as Taps was played, and then a bagpiper played Amazing Grace. Afterwards, we had lunch with the family and friends of Patrick at the church where he last pastored, St. John’s Lutheran Church outside of Mount Gilead. It’s a beautiful little country church built around 1870.
There were pictures of happy times in Patrick’s 86 years of life. He pastored for 50 years and was an SAR member for 30. I’m so happy I was able to meet Patrick a few weeks ago, and that we were able to award him the Good Citizenship Medal a short time later before he passed away. And I think all of us were honored to have fulfilled his wishes for an SAR vigil and ceremony. Such a decent man deserved that honor. I have no doubt he is with Jesus now.