Originally posted 3/8/12
When Jimmy Doolittle died in in 1993, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors. One of Doolittle's raiders attempted to play "Taps" at the service, but overcome with emotion, he was unable to finish. He passed the bugle to a young man, who finished it flawlessly as the few remaining B-25s in existence flew overhead in his honor. The young man that finished "Taps" was Jimmy Doolittle's great-grandson.
Audie Murphy was the highest decorated soldier of World War II, his awards including the Medal of Honor. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in 1971 with full military honors. The gravestones of recipients of the Medal of Honor are normally decorated in gold leaf, but Audie Murphy had specifically requested his stone remain plain and inconspicuous--that of an ordinary soldier which was the way he saw himself. Even so, a special walkway had to be constructed later because of the large number of visitors who came to pay their respects. His grave site is the second most visited at Arlington, second only to President John F. Kennedy.
But even in death, Mel wasn't done making people laugh--he managed to get one more. According to his wishes, the epitaph on his tombstone reads simply, "That's all, folks!"
Todd E. Creason is an author and novelist whose work includes the award-winning non-fiction historical series Famous American Freemasons and the novels One Last Shot (2011) and A Shot After Midnight (2012). He's currently working on the third novel expected to be released in 2014. All of Todd E. Creason's books are sold at major online booksellers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and are available for both Nook and Kindle.