It was brutally hot that day. The sun seemed to make the very ground wither. The A/C wasnt working and we had on dress clothes. We had driven up from the Bay Area at his mother's invitation to attend. This was the second Memorial we had attended. The Honor Guard, Taps, the twenty-one gun salute, Amazing Grace, all of this to honor this kids sacrifice. It was hard enough for the family as it was, but it was the Honor Guard carefully folding the American flag from on top of the casket and presenting it to the young widow that seemed to hurt the most. After the ceremony I walked over to the grave and stared into the vault. Thats when it really hit home for me, all of his dreams, all of his hopes, all he would have ever been, will remain here for eternity. My Buddhist beliefs told me that this is only a transition from one world to the next, but I didnt feel that way looking into that vault. This brave kid stuck to his convictions, for that we all should honor him. I dont think his family was thinking about politics today, and neither was I. My belief is simple, the more pain I see, the more I want this war to end.