I was at a funeral today for a very close friend of the family. I'd known him all my life. He was a Marine. A World War II veteran. A great friend. A fantastic neighbor. And a wonderful man.
Jack always had a smile and a friendly story. He worked for a tire manufacturer. But he was the kind of man who, when you were around him, made you want to stand a little straighter, and do a little better.
He was a Marine guard at Camp David for several years. And he had one of the loudest whistles you ever heard. To all the kids in the neighborhood, that was its own brand of magic.
He enjoyed big cars. I remember in particular one sky blue Oldsmobile he had. He would shine it up every week. And when at seven or eight years old I'd go over to help, he'd let me wash the hubcaps. Then he'd point with pride to the small spots where the paint had been marred by tape. Each a badge of honor for where it had been decorated for one of his kids' or grand kids' weddings.
We stood in the freezing snow today as two Marines folded an American flag, while a third played Taps. And when it was presented to his oldest son, my brother and I cried. We knew a great and humble man was laid to rest. Jack, you will be missed.