A Texas Soldier's Funeral


Active member
Here is an email I got at home. It's very touching. The pictures are at

What follows is a message from Vicki Pierce about her nephew James'

funeral (he was serving our country in Iraq): "I'm back, it was
certainly a quick trip, but I have to also say it was one of the most
amazing experiences of my life. There is a lot to be said for growing up
in a small town in Texas.

The service itself was impressive with wonderful flowers and sprays, a
portrait of James, his uniform and boots, his awards and ribbons. There
was lots of military brass and an eloquent (though inappropriately
longwinded) Baptist preacher. There were easily 1000 people at the
service, filling the church sanctuary as well as the fellowship hall and
spilling out into the parking lot.

However, the most incredible thing was what happened following the
service on the way to the cemetery. We went to our cars and drove to the
cemetery escorted by at least 10 police cars with lights flashing and
some other emergency vehicles, with Texas Rangers handling traffic.
Everyone on the road who was not in the procession, pulled over, got out
of their cars, and stood silently and respectfully, some put their hands
over their hearts, some had small flags. Shop keepers came outside with
their customers and did the same thing. Construction workers stopped
their work, got off their equipment and put their hands over their
hearts, too. There was no noise whatsoever except a few birds and the
quiet hum of cars going slowly up the road.

When we turned off the highway suddenly there were teenage boys along
both sides of the street about every 20 feet or so, all holding large
American flags on long flag poles, and again with their hands on their
hearts. We thought at first it was the Boy Scouts or 4H club or
something, but it continued .... for two and a half miles. Hundreds of
young people, standing silently on the side of the road with flags. At
one point we passed an elementary school, and all the children were
outside, shoulder to shoulder holding flags ... kindergartners,
handicapped, teachers, staff, everyone. Some held signs of love and
support. Then came teenage girls and younger boys, all holding flags.
Then adults. Then families. All standing silently on the side of the
road. No one spoke, not even the very young children. The last few turns
found people crowded together holding flags or with their hands on their
hearts. Some were on horseback.

The military presence...at least two generals, a fist full of colonels,
and representatives from every branch of the service, plus the color
guard which attended James, and some who served with him ... was very
impressive and respectful, but the love and pride from this community
who had lost one of their own was the most amazing thing I've ever been
privileged to witness.

I've attached some pictures, some are blurry (we were moving), but you
can get a small idea of what this was like. Thanks so much for all the
prayers and support."
That was very touching...I think I would have been completely overwelmed if I was in that car, I was close to it just looking at the pictures...
Thanks very much for sharing this with us, Missileer. We had something similar happen here in Montpelier. What struck me was that there was also a strong and observant portion of the people who you could easily tell by their dress and hair styles were not by any stretch of the imagination supporters of the war. There were young men in dreadlocks, women in tie dye etc. also holding American flags and silently bowing heads. They may not be supporting the war, but they certainly supported our troops. I was very glad to see them there.

They've erected a monument here to Vermont's Iraq War dead. When some out of state group decided to video tape their protest in front of it, local people of the aforementioned dreadlocks and tie dye persuaded them to hold it elsewhere. That too caught my notice.

Michael Moore's web page had an article about Vermont on it noting that tiny Vermont with a population of only about 600,000 has the highest per capita amount of deaths in Iraq. What he failed to mention is that Vermont also has the highest commitment to the military of any state in America. 6 out of 100 Vermonters serve or have served. That's three times the national average of 2 out of 100.
It seems that smaller towns take this thing a little more seriously than busy larger cities. All of a sudden it becomes personal when someone you went to school or the Senior prom with comes home for the last time. It doesn't matter how beautiful a memorial or headstone is, there is an empty place in many hearts that will never be refilled.