This, sadly, is not the first military funeral our town has seen. I live in a small town and ALOT of our men and women join right after high school, useally for one if two reasons. People here, most of the time, tend me be very patriotic and two there are few jobs here and they need work. I know "they" say the war is over, but it's not in my mind when our men & women are coming home in a casket. This is the first one I was able to attend, and I hope it's the last our town will ever see, and anywhere else for that matter. I was unable to attend the funeral, but I wanted to atleast line the street with the others to pay my respects as the hearse went by. I didn't know him but I'm thankful to him for giving his life protecting my family and I.My oldest was still in school, but I took my youngest with me. I don't know if Phoenix will remember it, he's only 4, but I hope it taught him something. When he asked why we were there, I told him a solider died so we're here to say goodbye. He asked if he was my friend, I told him no, but he's a super hero who helps and protects us from bad guys (he's really into superheroes so that's the best way I could think to explain it lol). Some photos are mine, the ones that aren't are marked as not mine. The writting below each photo I got from a newpaper article.
Deborah Taylor led her family across the tarmac to a casket draped in the American flag that contained the body of her middle son.
Her husband, Mark, gently placed his palm on the casket. Mrs. Taylor’s youngest son, Chris, did the same.
And then Mrs. Taylor followed, welcoming her son home.
In silence interrupted only by the hum of TV helicopters and clicks of news cameras, six Marines carried Cpl. Johnathan Taylor’s casket to a waiting hearse.
Along the way, three Marines lost their dress caps to a strong wind. A soldier retrieved them.
After Cpl. Taylor’s casket was placed into the hearse, Mrs. Taylor started to walk off with her family and friends. Then she stopped and walked over to the soldier holding the caps, taking them from his hand.
She returned the “cover” caps to their owners with a message.
“This was a sign from my son,” she said, “because he hated wearing his cover.”
***Not my photo.
***not my photo
There were not this many people lined up where I was but I hear there were alot of large crowds along the way. Some teachers & daycare works brought the kids out from the nearby schools to pay their respects.
"Children sat on the curbs in front of their schools, waving small American flags. Veterans stood rigid in military salute. Government workers watched solemnly, right hands over their hearts.
Many carried flags of all sizes. Long ladder fire trucks flew gigantic American flags from the top rung.
At Inverness Christian Academy just south of Inverness, about 100 children lined the sidewalk waiting for the procession.
Fourth-grader Caleb Deal, 10, had never met Cpl. Taylor but he wanted to show his respects anyway.
“He risked his life to make us free,” Caleb said.
At the entrance to Clearview Estates, on top of the State Road 44 hill west of Inverness, Andrew Tarpey sat with a flag that he said was flown at ground zero.
“This is what being American is all about,” the Vietnam veteran said, explaining as he waited on the procession. “This young man made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Mrs. Taylor later said she especially appreciated seeing signs that referred to her son as “Butters,” the nickname he received in high school because he couldn’t hold onto the football.
“We knew those were his real friends,” she said.
She was struck by the number of children, especially.
“We saw some kids playing a song; I think it was in Brooksville. That really choked us up,” Mrs. Taylor said. “John loved children.”
The turnout, Mrs. Taylor said, was overwhelming.
“It was absolutely beautiful,” she said. “We can’t thank the community enough for their support and love.”"
***Not my photo.