His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, ‘This was a man!’
--from Julius Caesar
"The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness."
-- Michel Montaigne
1. I don't know all the correct ways to refer to a policeman's funeral, but I'll do my best. Seated in the Metuchen First Presbyterian Church, suddenly I heard the lone bagpiper and I now know that Ted Ayotte's coffin, draped with a flag of the USA, was under the protective presence of a police honor guard. Those of us in the church stood as pall bearers rolled his coffin to the front of the church and several rows of pews on both sides of the church filled with police officers in uniform.
2. Ted's sons, Jim and Ken, eulogized their father with the highest of praise and with stories of their fathers' life of community service, love for family and friends, affections as a grandfather, and of their pride to have had a man of Ted Ayotte's goodness and generosity as their father. The pastor's eulogy reinforced and expanded upon these same elements of Ted's life. The words of Michel Montaigne sprang to my mind. Here they are again, "The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness."
3. After the service concluded inside the church, honoring Ted continued outside the church with the solitary bagpiper playing "Amazing Grace". Officers removed the flag from Ted's coffin, folded with great dignity, and presented it to Sally. The police detail was dismissed and Ted's coffin was placed in the hearse to be carried to his place of eternal rest.
A luncheon followed in the church's social center. Patrick, the Deke, and I left Metuchen, NJ shortly after noon to begin our nearly 500 mile drive to a Hampton Inn Elyria, OH for a night of rest before driving on to Chicago on Friday for three days of festivities surrounding our nephew Ben's wedding on Saturday.