Saturday, November 9, 2013

I usually hate delays, but . . .

As I was driving into Marshall to make a delivery yesterday, I noticed many fire and police vehicles lining the highway into town, and American flags displayed along the roadside. There were also groups of people here and there lining the roadway. Remembering that Veterans Day is Monday, I thought I might be about to run into some kind of veterans parade. "Cr*p! That's all I need is to get hung up behind a parade!", I thought as I rushed on to my next stop.

My delivery was at a Family Dollar Store across the street from Madison High School. I noticed scores of students lining the hill above the road, many holding American flags. I asked my customer if there was a parade coming, and how much time did I have to get out before it came by. I learned it wasn't a parade but an approaching funeral procession.

A soldier from Marshall, SPC Jason Carlisle Shelton, had been killed in a training exercise in Germany last month. Shelton was a 2009 graduate of Madison High, and joined the Army in 2012. His funeral was Friday, and the town was turning out to pay their respects.

Madison High students pay their respects to a former classmate

Jason Shelton was only 22 when his life ended serving his country. Like any young man his age, I'm sure he had plans for the future - things he wanted to do, places he wanted to visit, goals he wanted to accomplish. In an instant it was all over. As I considered the full life I've been blessed with, the inconvenience of a delay for a funeral procession didn't seem like such a big deal. I took off my cap and proudly joined the people of Madison county on the side of the highway to pay my respects to a fallen hero. (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Local law enforcement rendered a salute as the funeral procession passed

1 comment:

  1. Stopping for a funeral procession always makes me tear up. I love that it's something that people still do.