I went to Alexandria today to visit with Mom and Dad. As I was driving to town, I noticed flags lining the median of Lake Charles Hwy from Alexandria Memorial Gardens in Woodworth to Alexandria. I realized the funeral for David Strother was today. He was killed in the military helicopter crash in the Gulf.
When I reached Alexandria, I pulled into the parking lot at Dantzler’s Flea Market because I wanted to take some pictures of the flags lining the road. After I left my parents’ house to head home, I saw the Alexandria utility crews had come out and lined the road and put up 4 bucket trucks with flags across the road and in Woodworth there were two fire trucks with buckets up and flag across the road there. I decided I wanted to stop to show my respect so I pulled up & parked behind some cars already parked on the side of the road. As time went by, more and more cars came along and parked on the highway.
I was there probably about an hour when I could see nothing but blue lights coming from Alexandria. There were about 30 cop cars plus quite a few motorcycle cops. I lost track of how many. Then the Veteran’s motorcycle club came by with their flags waving in the wind. All the policeman parked and left their vehicles and lined across the road, shoulder to shoulder, and when the hearse came into view, they came to attention with their heads slightly down. It was amazing to see. During all this, I’m trying not to bawl my eyes out because it didn’t seem like the right thing to do. I also didn’t feel right taking pictures during the procession so I will depend on the reporters for that. The procession went on for miles and miles. Some of the cars in the procession had their windows down and were holding flags out the windows and one car had Amazing Grace playing in the car. Eventually the parking in the cemetery filled up so they started parking the cars on the outside lanes of the 4 lane highway. This ended up blocking all of us on the side of the road from leaving but I was ok with that because I had time to go across the road to visit Pas’ and his parents’ graves.
After the services began, two military helicopters did a fly over. That was so sad to see. I didn’t get close enough to hear any of the service but Susie said they were supposed to play Taps.
I kept thinking about the sacrifices some men and women and families make for all of us and the very least I could do was to show my support. I am so glad I did! It was awe inspiring to watch everyone come together to show support for the family, friends and military. The feeling is really beyond words. I know that it doesn’t make anything any better for his family and they would give everything to have him back but I still hope it brings them a small measure of comfort. They will need continued prayers and support for a long time to come.