(April 9, 2012) – One of my pet peeves is when someone displays an overwhelming ignorance of military traditions. This morning, as I was reading obituary notices from the Coast Guard community, I again saw an incorrect reference to the rifle salute given near the end of the burial ceremony. “He was honored with a 21 gun salute,” is the phrase that grinds my teeth every time I read it. Yes, it fits the full definition of peeve.
A proper usage of the term describing the honor rendered does not make the old shipmates any less dead. Nor does it give one bit of comfort to the mourning family. Often, I am the only one bothered by the error in terminology, and that in itself is truly irritating.