A Fitting Tribute to a Remarkable Woman

The friends and the friends-who-are-relatives of Joan Smith Grey gathered at the Military Women’s Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday to honor and celebrate an outstanding woman. The eulogies, the snapshot photo show, and the recording of Joan reading the Epilogue to her book accentuated some of Joan Grey’s many accomplishments. We revered Joan with tears and laughter.

Women of the West Point Academy Class of 1980

The famous women of the United States Military Academy at West Point’s first graduating class of 1980 assembled en masse to pay tribute to their classmate. What an amazing group of women! After so many years of hearing Joan speak of her fellow cadets and their accomplishments, I felt privileged to finally meet more of them. Like her classmates I already knew and loved, I felt a deep connection to these trailblazers!

Members of the historic West Point Academy Class of 1980

In fact, all of the class of 1980 inspire me and fill me with awe. These men and women have given their talents and abilities to our country and their selflessness and service have aided all of us in more ways than we know. Many are now in the private sector, yet these West Point graduates continue to shine in their fields. Their integrity, honor and commitment to service is evident in all their accomplishments and everything they say.

Friends attended the ceremony who represented all the many roles Joan played in her life. I met her family, ‘Namaste Sisters’, fellow Chaplins, and Army families and friends. Karen Franklin McSherry, Joan’s maid of honor and our high school classmate attended, as well as her husband, Brian, probably the friend who has known Joan the longest, since he attended grade school with Joan. I was privileged to be part of a group of 220 people gathered to venerate my friend who touched so many people’s lives and changed them for the better.

Even at her memorial, Joan continues to help me expand my horizons.

The blessings still flow from this true and everlasting friend.

© Jane F. Collen  August 24,2022

IndexCardCure.com™ forever in our hearts

5 thoughts on “A Fitting Tribute to a Remarkable Woman

  1. THANK YOU Jane Collen for this outstanding review of a beautifully orchestrated Remembrance Service for Joan Smith Grey. The tapestry of Joan’s life shone with the brilliance of colorful living threads of stories demonstrating a beautiful life well-lived and overflowing with love. Joan took to heart the advice of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Joan lived the solution: LOVE!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne – thank you so much for your comment. It is wonderful to hear that something I wrote strikes a chord.
      I am looking forward to talking to you about writing a piece for IndexCardCure on the Namaste Sisters. ~jane


  2. Thank you for putting to words the feelings I hold in my heart about Joan. Job well done!!!!

    I hope our paths cross again.

    Ginny Franco

    One of Joan’s Namaste Sisters

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope to see you again too, Ginny. I next want to work on a piece about the Namaste
      Thank you for your comment. ~jane


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