Recently, another one of our local soldiers was killed in Iraq. Yesterday, he came home for the final time. Our hearts are heavy.
I don't know him, or his young wife. I do know his mother-in-law, we attend the same church. His wife grew up in the same church, though she had moved away by the time our family started attending there.
The funeral procession went by yesterday morning, during morning church services. Rather than hear a sermon, the entire congregation went outside and lined the sidewalk in front of the building, where we watched as the procession slowly drove by. Besides his family, the hearse was accompanied by over 200 Patriot Guard Riders on their motorcycles.
The veterans and active military members of our congregation saluted, the rest of us silently showed our repects, many holding American flags. Many tears were shed for our fallen hero who will be buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on August 1.
A year or so ago, I and most other business owners on our street locked our doors, and walked down to a local funeral home to pay our respects as another local soldier was brought home for the final time.
During this processional, we missed hearing a sermon. During the last one, we missed an hour or so of business. What a small, insignificant sacrifice on our parts.
We pray the families of our fallen heros will find comfort.
May God bless the American soldier, and their families.