The world is a lesser place today. I was a pallbearer at my great-uncle's funeral. He passed last Thursday at the age of 90. His parents, my great-great grandfather Silas (whom I'm named after) and great-great grandmother Jenny raised him on the farm with the rest of the kids. He was a veteran of WWII and was part of the forces that entered Berlin to end the war in Europe. He never talked much about it, although he did bring back a Luger which he kept in his basement on a shelf. He worked for the local lead mining company as a draftsman for 30 years. His wife worked for the company also. She died several years ago. They had no children. If there was a finer man anywhere, I never met him. He never complained, no matter what the situation and was always ready to help anyone he could. About a week ago, he wasn't feeling good. The church pastor came to visit him at his home. He rarely missed church. He confessed that he felt tired and sick and was ready to meet the Lord. The pastor, a young fellow, trying to make conservation, asked him "I understand that you have smoked non-filter cigarettes since you were a child." "Yet you have lived a long life with no health issues." "What has kept you healthy and active all these years?" Uncle looked at him and, smiling, said "Well I eat a lot of fat pork and Little Debbie snack cakes." We buried him at the Jefferson Barracks Veterans Cemetery in South St Louis, overlooking the banks of the Mississippi River. After Taps was played and the service was over, I lingered for a while. I gazed on the rows and rows of white headstones perfectly lined "dress right dress." My father had accepted the flag from the casket as the closest living relative and for only the second time in my life I saw him weep. I teared up behind my sunglasses, but stood at attention. How you can stand in one of these cemetery's and not feel small. Not feel the moving emotion of the sacrifice these men and women of honor have made, many giving the ultimate one. I can't imagine how anyone could not. We will carry on, our lives go forward. We have no choice in the matter. But the world is not as bright and is a lesser place.