Gardens of stone at Arlington National Cemetary.


Everywhere you look are the names of heroes. Sergeant Smith's marker is just to the right of these towards the base of the hill.


His marker is waiting to be unveiled. Notice how the cover is the same color is the Medal of Honor.


One blurry photo. The band waiting to play the national anthem.


Some of the military folks anxiously await the arrival of Sergeant Smith's family.


This soldier is guarding the wreath that Birgit will place at Paul's marker.


"You can get this close before I have to kill you."


Taken from the top of the hill that overlooks Sergeant Smith's headstone, which is down and to your right. The Colors are below waiting to be presented at the beginning of the cermeony. Off in the distance is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.


Turning to the right and looking down from the same hill, towards the ceremony. As you look down the hill, follow the second line of headstones starting from the left, and at the bottom you can just make out a light blue patch. That's the covering of Sgt Smith's headstone.


All of Sergeant Smith's immediate family arrives via bus.


The Colors are Presented. Sorry it's kinda blurry, I took this left handed because my right one was over my heart.


The Benediction. Again, all heads bowed except mine, I cheated.


The Sergeant Major of the Army, Kenneth Preston, addresses the crowd.


Birgit Smith, David and Jessica are escorted up to the marker. The man in the suit with the earpiece? Let's just say nobody make any sudden moves. He's a baaaaaaaaad man.


David gets some last minute advice from the Sergeant Major.


David and Jessica pulled the covering from the headstone, and the Sergeant Major held it for them.


A wife's final kiss to her husband. Half the crown openly cried here.


General Schoomaker helps Sergeant Smith's daughter Jessica down the hill, while Birgit gets a helping hand from the Sergeant Major.


My first unobstructed view of Sergeant Smith's headstone.


Birgit places the wreath by her husband's name.


The Sergeant Major escorts her back down the hill.


The bugler stands ready to play Taps...


Taps is played and if you weren't crying before when Birgit kissed his headstone, brother let me tell ya, you were now. I had to snap this quick because I couldn't hold the camera and wipe my tears at the same time.


The Smith and DeVane clans visit the headstone.


A retiree pays his respects.


You know you've done something exceptional when the Sergeant Major of the Army stand at attention for you.


Sgt Pelletier pays his respects. I had the honor of spending some time with Derek and getting to know him and his mother a little bit. As it turns out he lives up near me so maybe we'll be able to grab a beer from time to time. Derek sometimes had a difficult time squeezing into the seats on the bus because there wasn't enough room for his enormous brass balls.


Specialist John Mele pays his respects as he is comforted by his wife. Four years later, I would be saddened to learn that John was also killed in Iraq.


In Memory Of Paul Ray Smith. Medal of Honor. SFC USA Iraq. Sep 24 1969 - Apr 4 2003. Purple Heart KIA. His Spirit Will Live Forever.


A little closer shot. The headstone looked absolutely immactuate.


This is Specialist Michelle Chavez, a combat medic. She worked on the injured Sergeant Smith for thirty minutes, but in the end his wounds were too great.


This is taken from down the hill at our bus, looking up towards the ceremony area and Sergeant Smith's headstone.


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