Congressman Bob Goodlatte with Patriot Guard.
What an amazing family Daniel Morris belonged to. What an amazing turnout from the community tonight to honor this young man and his family.
We spent two hours at the funeral home, waiting in line, visiting, watching as friends, relatives, and the community came together to wrap their arms around this young man's family ... and his family was very, very appreciative of everything. There were flowers everywhere including those from Augusta County and Staunton Republicans, and photos and mementos ... a reminder of the young life that had ended too soon ... and a glimpse of how he had grown to become the fine young man he was.
We arrived at 5:15 and the line was out the door ... visitors waiting to pay their respects ... high school students, retired folks, law enforcement officers, co-workers, neighbors. Local Republicans seen were Chris Green, Alex Davis, Rhonda Winfield, SWAC Daughter, Kurt Michael, and SWAC Girl.
The first sight when turning into the parking lot was the 12 Patriot Guard Riders standing guard at the door to the funeral home holding American flags. What a stirring sight ... how appropriate. I spoke with them, thanking them for what they do. I talked at length with Jim from Roanoke who told me they were there with permission of the family to honor Daniel, and to be a barrier if there were hecklers or anti-war protesters which they were not expecting in this area. They had come from throughout the state and locally.
Congressman Bob Goodlatte arrived around 5:30 to pay his respects to the family, staying a good while and visiting with the family. He had been in the District all day and had driven from Lynchburg, determined to get to Staunton in time. Before entering the building he shook hands with each Patriot Guard Rider and thanked them for being there.
Daniel's mom, Carol, was gracious to all who went through the line that included many relatives -- grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. When I got to her I told her my name and that I was with the Augusta County Republicans ... and that we were sorry for their loss and grateful for their sacrifice and they were in our prayers.
I shook hands with each Marine guarding the body and thanked them for their service and told them what they heard in the press was not the whole story ... that many Americans especially in this community were behind them.
What an emotional evening. It centered me to one more be appreciative of what we have in this country ... and how much we owe to our Armed Forces.
The funeral is tomorrow in Raphine at 11:00 a.m. at New Providence Presbyterian Church. The Patriot Guard Riders will be there standing guard ... the Wilson High School Band will be there in uniform (Daniel played trumpet in the marching band) ... the Marine League will be there ... many in the community will attend. Directions to the church are below.
When dark fell they still stood watch....
Patriot Guard Riders ever faithful.
Directions to New Providence Presbyterian Church:
I-81 EXIT 205: USE Rt # 606 West - for approximately 7 miles- thru Town of Raphine, past Wade's Mill to RT# 252 South-a T shape intersection- TURN RIGHT onto # 252-Brownsburg Turnpike- Northward for approximately 1+ miles, New Providence Church is on the LEFT at intersection of # 252/726, a T shape intersection. Parking on both sides of # 726 at Church. (Thanks to SWACer Marbury Seaman for directions.)
Photos by SWAC Girl