Today I went to Petaluma to attend a memorial service for my Great Uncle Fred Hotchkiss.
I thought of different ways to honor him in a post tonight, and decided that I would focus on the military honors he received.
My Great Uncle Fred enlisted in 1948 at the age of 17 just after the end of WWII. He was assigned to the Freedom Train and was able to see all 48 states as the train toured the country displaying the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Fred then saw the world as he served as an Army nurse for 33 years serving in Germany, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Great Uncle Fred could still wear his original uniform when he was in his early 80’s and would wear it to parades and other events.
I also learned more about his service while listening to my cousin Audrey talk about his life during the memorial service.
The flag shown in the first picture was unfolded and then refolded before presenting it to the family. Three shells from the rifle salute were also tucked into the folded flag to represent Duty, Honor and Country.
The ceremony was very moving and it gave me an even great appreciation of Great Uncle Fred’s service.
I also had the opportunity to honor him as I sang Precious Memories during the memorial service.
Many memories were shared today as his family came together to celebrate his life.
Thank you Great Uncle Fred for your service to our country.