A military funeral in Smethport

The Bradford Era

“The sun shined a little brighter in Smethport on Friday the 13th. I participated in a military funeral for a Smethport veteran as part of the color guard. We were facing the lake as a large group of geese flew in.”

So writes Joe Orlandi of Smethport. He continues:

“There was three kids playing about a block away, they were between 5 and 9 years old and quite boisterous in the morning sun, doing what kids do when they play together, and probably oblivious to what was happening just down the street.

“I tried to remember what it was like to be that carefree.

“It was time for the rifle salute to honor the dead. The sound echoed through the valley on that brisk spring morning. Then something astonishing happened! The three young kids lined up and saluted as taps echoed over the lake.

“I got a tear in my eye, maybe things are not so bad with the world. I do not know if it was the parents, teachers, or Scouting that taught these kids that level of respect so early in their young lives, but something good is happening in Smethport.”

Reprinted with permission from The Bradford Era.