It is a tradition that is beautiful and moving, but can only be witnessed after a painful loss.
A casket adorned with Trident pins held the remains of fallen Navy SEAL Petty Officer 3rd Class Denis Miranda, who was laid to rest in Toms River, New Jersey, on Thursday. He was one of nine service members, and three SEALs, who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week.
A feature on The Virginian-Pilot shared how more than two dozen Navy SEALs paid tribute to one of their own. They walked up to the casket one at a time, resplendent in their blue dress uniforms; they then removed their SEAL Tridents, that pin that symbolized their having earned membership into an elite brotherhood, and pounded it onto the casket.
There were dozens of SEALs from both the East and the West coasts who paid their last respects to their fellow SEAL. His casket was carried into the cemetery by his teammates.
A Navy spokeswoman who attended Miranda’s burial shared the sentiments of Capt. Tim Szymanski, commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group Two, who described Miranda as “a man who lived his life for the cause greater than himself.”
Alan Miranda shared the following regarding his late brother: “My brother could have been the most charitable man in the world, but if you didn’t catch him in the act, you wouldn’t know… He helped others and never spoke of his acts. That’s just the type of guy he was.”
All told, 29 SEAL Tridents, and a single special forces patch from an Army Ranger who also paid tribute to Miranda, covered Miranda’s wooden casket.