Tuesday, 16 February 2016

"Taps" at the Sarasota National Cemetery.

I was at the Sarasota National Cemetery this morning for the Committal Service for Roger Lampton.

Lampton, Roger David 

May 21, 1937 - Jan. 22, 2016 

Roger Lampton, 78, of Sarasota passed away peacefully on Friday, January 22, 2016. 

He was born in Vincennes, Indiana to the late Oscar 'Dick' and Aline Allega Lampton. 

Roger was a proud veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps., moving to Sarasota upon completion of his service in 1958. Roger was a patrolman with the Sarasota Police Department and a state trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol. He worked as an examiner with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and, in 2003, became a founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

Survivors include his wife, Cali Miller Lampton, his daughter, Kristin Pena, his stepdaughter, Sterling Larnerd (Brian), his stepson, Miller Sandow, and grandchildren; Max, Audrey, Skailar, Logan, Alec, and Hunter. He was deeply loved and will be missed. 

The family wishes to thank the staff at Autumn of Sarasota, especially Doris Chasse, for their loving care of Roger. 

A memorial service will be held at 11am on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at Sarasota National Cemetery. 

I did not know Roger very well, but I always enjoyed greeting him, his wife Callie, and their grand-children Skailar and Logan at St. Boniface Church in Sarasota, FL.

I admired his dignity and grace, and the determined and faithful care which he and Callie gave to their grandchildren.


The Revd. Andrea (Andi) Taylor of St. Boniface led us this morning  in prayers and a scripture reading, with a gentle and gracious homily.


Committal Services at National (Military) Cemeteries are always circumscribed by time.  Mourners are alloted about twenty minutes for the service, due to the large numbers of such committals on any given day.

(I remember driving in a funeral home limo from Cambridge, MA to the National Cemetery in  Bourne, MA for a committal service there.  It was a rainy day.  The traffic was heavy.

The Undertaker was  sweating profusely lest we should miss our alloted time slot.  We made it "just in time".)


Even with this "time factor" the Military part of the committal is always conducted with the greatest precision.

Such was the case this morning.

I was a bit reticent to take photo's with my new Smart 'Phone. I did not wish to be intrusive.

But here are two of them/

Two Marines fold the U.S. Flag, to present to Callie'

A lonely Marine plays "Taps".

Never in my life have I heard "Taps" played so well.  It was note perfect and time perfect, This Marine played a superb diminuendo  on that very last note, the sustained  sound getting quieter and softer until it faded into the air.

"T'was a parable of human life and death"

I wanted to seek him out to thank him,  but if course he had slipped away to get ready for the next Committal Service.

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