The week of my birthday I was invited to attend the services of Lt. Donald Sheda by his daughter Ms. Cathy. I arrived at the Old Chapel Church on Arlington’s grounds. The family was sitting in a room wondering if I would be able to make it. I walked in and the look on Ms. Cathy face made my trip well worth it. I sat with her and her family before the services started. We talked about her journey bringing him home and how glad she was that I made it. I told her I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. We were later escorted into the Chapel of the church and prepared for Lt. Sheda to come into the room. The doors opened up, the sun light coming through; the guards lifted him and brought him into the chapel. I turned, look at Ms. Cathy and she stood proudly as her father made his way down. It was a look of “I am glad my father has finally come home”.
After the services, he was taken outside and placed onto the horse drawn carriage. At that point the family was informed that he will now be taken to his final resting place and that it would be a 2.2 mile walk. They also stated if anyone wanted to drive behind the carriage they could. Ms. Cathy turned and stated “no, I will walk with him”.
My heart just quavered as I watched a daughter who had never met her father walk behind him so proudly and with such determination. Her family walked a long beside her making the trip through Arlington. Visitor came to the edge of the pathway, took pictures and put their hands on their chest showing respect. I turned to my son with tears in my ears because it moved me so much.
Arlington and their staff did an amazing job welcoming Lt. Donald Sheda home.
“She had been proud of his decision to serve his country, her heart bursting with love and admiration the first time she saw him outfitted in his dress blues.” ~ Nicholas Sparks