Today was the funeral for Lance Corporal Terry J. Honeycutt. He was a 19 year old Marine, and he died in service to his country on October 27, 2010. He left for the Marines as soon as he graduated high school in 2009, and spent only 3 short months in Afghanistan before an IED caused fatal injuries that ended his life.
I didn't know this young man, but I feel sadness everytime a life is ended in service to this country. Sadness because it is a young life cut short, but also greatfulness for the sacrifice that has been given, many times over, for centuries, to keep the United States of America free from enemies that want to cause us harm.
On this chilly, foggy, November morning, many people lined the side of Route 301 waving American flags, both to honor this fallen hero, and in protest to a group that calls themselves a church. The Westboro Baptist Church, a group out of Topeka, Kansas, travels across the country spewing forth hate in the name of God. They come as close as they are allowed to military funerals, and hold up signs thanking God for the dead soldiers.
I was proud today of the town where I live. For today, we banded together, two rows deep, and over a mile long, to let this cult know that they were not welcome here. Their message was not heard at Terry Honeycutt's funeral, and his family did not, on the hardest day of their lives, see this groups' message of hate.
What did happen was, as his family followed the hearse carrying his coffin passed by the people lining the highway, a solemn hush fell over the crowd. Noisy Route
301, with its 4 lanes of traffic and all those people, fell silent. Terry Honeycutt's mother, crying, waved out to the crowd and said thank you as she passed by. Then the crowd began to sing America the Beautiful, and our National Anthem. In difficult times, we are truly "One Nation, Under God."
Many of the people lining Route 301 had on these shirts.
People of all ages lined the highway, paying respect to a Fallen Hero.
So many people stopped their lives on this day to pay their respect to this young Marine, and to let a hate group know that their message will not be heard.
The emblem on his vest says it all "A Nation That Forgets Its Defenders, Will Itself, Be Forgotten."
Rest in Peace LCPL Terry J. Honeycutt. May God comfort your family and friends. May America never forget the sacrifice that you and so many others have given for our freedom and liberty.