Friday, November 6, 2009

Honoring Service and Sacrifice

A young man from Terrell, Texas was killed in Afganistan recently. His name was Shawn McNabb and he was an army staff Sgt. I have heard news of his death in the local news a couple of times and was sad, but not truly touched by this young man.

This morning I went to work on the CSA farm, Eden's Garden with Marie, the farmer. We were just beginning to sort veggies for shares when she received a phone call from a neighbor. I hear only her side of the conversation that went something like, " Yes I've got a flag. I might have a red white and blue shirt. I'm going to bring a farm volunteer with me." After locating a red sweatshirt for me and a shirt with a flag design on it for Marie, we gathered up a couple of flags and loaded up in the truck.

We we went to gather with many others on an overpass along I20 to observe the funeral procession of Sgt McNabb. I expected a couple of people on the bridge, what I found when we got there was amazing. Fire trucks lining the bridges and people standing side by side holding flags. We only knew one of the dozens of people who lined that bridge, but it didn't matter. I learned later that there were groups on the overpasses in Terrell, Forney, Balch Springs and Mesquite. One of my neighbors was with a group at the beginning in Terrell.

At first we talked and took pictures. When the lights of the squad cars leading the procession came into view, everyone became silent. There were too many vehicles in the procession to count. Many veterans road in the process on motorcycles. Some of those men solemnly waved to us and there were a scattering of salutes.

After the funeral had passed, we were all in tears and hugging complete strangers. It was the most amazing/sad thing I have ever been a part of. I was glad to join this group to honor that young man's service and sacrifice.