This year Veterans Day, Nov. 11, marks the third anniversary of my husband’s funeral.

And as I got ready to hang the flag out front, I recalled the special sensitivity and kindness of my consultant at Shalom Memorial Park and Funeral Home, in Arlington Heights IL.

On Nov. 9 that year, as our family was dealing with the details of death, he telephoned.

“Did  you say your husband was in the United States Marines?” he asked

“Indeed he was,” I answered.

“Well, since the funeral will be on an American national holiday, I believe the Corps will be happy to come to the cemetery to honor one of their own. If you fax a copy of his honorable discharge to me, I’ll try to arrange it.”

And arrange it he did. After a beautiful service, we went across to the cemetery that adjoins the chapel and saw three marines in full dress uniforms waiting at graveside. When we were seated one played taps as the others removed the flag from the coffin, folded it in tri-corners and presented it to our family. Then suddenly we heard the sound of planes, and, looking up saw three of them flying in formation overhead, as one dipped its wing in a salute to their fallen comrade.

It was a moment that still brings tears to my eyes, and pride to my heart, whenever I recall it. Especially on Veterans Day.

Thanks, Shalom Memorial Park. I would never have thought to ask for that.

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Sandra Pesmen

Sandra Pesmen

Sandra Pesmen, host of, also writes the weekly DR.JOB column syndicated by Career News Service. A member of The Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and The University of Illinois Media Alumni Hall of Fame, Ms. Pesmen is author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide,“ and “Writing for the Media: Public Relations and the Press.” A reporter, features writer and editor, this business journalist was features editor of Crain’s Chicago Business from its inception in 1978 to 1990, when she became corporate features editor for its parent, Crain Communications Inc. She also wrote the monthly Executive Woman column in North Shore magazine in suburban Chicago for many years. Previously, she was a reporter and features writer for the Chicago Daily News.

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