Friday, February 16, 2007

Memorial procession

I walked to the small center of this surburban town today to stand with hundreds of others as the funeral procession of a young man killed in Iraq passed by. Schoolchildren and townspeople stood in silence, many holding flags, as the hearse, family cars and following vehicles moved at a good pace up the street. This was not a celebration. There was no waving or clapping. It was a moment of respect, recognition and dignity.

The young man killed was 26, an honors graduate of Duke University and a lacrosse star there. He postponed a career in business to join the Army Rangers, motivated by being from a town that lost over 20 people when the towers fell on 9/11. He served two tours in Afghanistan and was on his second tour in Iraq when his vehicle was hit by an IED.

He leaves behind his parents, three sisters, fiancee and a hometown, all heartbroken over his death.

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