Sunday, October 14, 2012


So, thousands of people showed up to make the human wall between the haters of WBC and the family of a fallen soldier.  It was quite the cross section of our society.  I couldn't help but wonder if Mittens Romney has ever actually seen real America up close.  Because, today, I saw real America up close.  I saw ancient jews and tattooed kids.  I saw people in drag and grandmothers.  I saw flag-waving patriots and peace-niks.  And, it was amazing.

The WBC people had a permit to gather a couple blocks from the church where the funeral was being held.  Even still, they tried their damnest to be heard all over town.  Rumor went through my crowd that there had been WBC peoples arrested.

I don't think they timed it this way, but when the processional was leaving the church and headed to the grave site, another church's bells chimed the noon time hymn.  It was touching . . . the perfectly blue sky, trees just starting to turn, thousands of people in a reverent hush, with bells tolling.  As the limo transporting the family passed, there was a young woman in the back seat dabbing at tears and someone near me said "that's Tracy" (the widow).  

I'm torn between being concerned that the family might think that the death of their beloved became a spectacle and hoping that they saw the outpouring of support.  As one woman explained to her friends, within my ear shot, "I almost didn't come today because I am sick, but then, I thought she doesn't have any choice about being here."    

As I watched the widow being driven away, I wondered if she experienced the same kind of isolation I've been feeling lately?  I hope with the repeal of DADT, she has experienced the same respect and assistance het widows and widowers receive.

On the drive home, I missed the Old Woman even more.  There was a time when I would have discussed this event with her. Even though it has been some time since I could really tell her about what was going on in the world, and discuss it with her, I realized today how much I miss it.  There was a time when all the interesting or good things that cropped up, she was the first person I'd call.  For the last couple of years, the immediacy of her needs replaced my realization I'd lost something so precious.  She would have been proud of me for going.  She raised me right.  


Diann Shepley said...

I am a hometown person in Raeford. I did not know Donna personally but I felt the need to be there. I have had many uncles that served in the military (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines). I have cousins that are serving now. Father in law that served the Army, brother that served the Air Force, son that served the National Guard and was injured in Iraq and son in law that is serving in the Navy now. I think most folks have someone that has served or is serving. I have friends that husbands are serving now. If you ask my friends I mainly stay quiet and to myself and I understand that you have a right to free speech and what you believe even though someone else may not believe what you do. I get that BUT at a funeral NO. The deceased has no voice to defend themselves if that is what they desire and the family has enough to deal with trying to cope with their loss. Protest even at a wedding might be hard but there you have a right to defend yourselves. You are a sorry bunch of folks to prey on someone at their weakest moment; think about how you would feel at that time. NEVER AT A FUNERAL and that is why I was there to support this. That is why I was there for my family that served and is serving to voice that this is the final passage out of this world and eveyone needs to be respectful and give the family their time to grieve and lay their loved one to rest. The showing of support for this lady was overwhelming and wonderful. WBC Raeford will not let this happen at this solemn time for anyone in our town.

The Super Bongo said...

Diann . . . I hope you know I was there in support of the family . . . not the hateful WBC folks.