Existentialists generally have a low regard for “pomp and circumstance” or ceremonies, finding them to be hollow exercises, all form and no substance. They are unneeded constants in a fluid world. We generally avoid them at all costs.
Still, the 2 1/2 hour ordeal that was the funeral for John McCain seemed too short. We witnessed powerful people surrendering themselves to all that pomp and circumstance, giving up control of their schedule, just to show respect for a true fallen hero. As much as I hate to admit it, the ceremonial rites of this funeral were not hollow exercises. Indeed, those rites reinforced the gravity of our loss.
The unspoken “elephant-in-the-room” was the absence of our President. In a totally unscientific survey, I’ve spoken with three of my fellow veterans since the funeral. All were military officers, all understand the notion of military honor, and all voted for Trump. One predicted Trump will “slither into infamy,” while another described him a “human garbage,” and the other said he owed his granddaughter an apology for supporting Trump. I suspect the funeral rites of John McCain helped drive a wedge between veterans and the President. If so, Senator McCain must be smiling . . .