It is cold. 4F at 9 am in the mountains. I just walked outside and put up our flag in the holder on the house. I want everyone to see. It was not easy; lots of crusty snow and my legs that do not work.
One of the white-bearded men on the sidewalk quickly walked through the snow to help me put up the flag. We usually put it up on Memorial Day and fly it all summer. But traversing the snowdrifts in January was too much for me.
When we finished, about 20 folks on the sidewalk gave a muted clap from glove-clad hands. I saluted them back.
I live next door to First Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church. On our entire block, from the church at one end to the houses beyond me on the other, is a line of leather-jacketed men/women, each holding a flag.
They are not still; they are moving around, trying to keep circulation in their feet and hands. But parked their motorcycles side-to-side on the street behind us (looking like a mini-Sturgis) and now stand, their breath baptizing them in a hovering steam cloud. Many are local, others come from across America to shield the mourners from the vicious hate-mongers who scream their venom.
Across the street at the corner is a police barricade. Protesters under the new Wyoming statute have to be 500 feet from the site of a funeral. Four policemen, but no Baptists from Kansas showed up. Praise God for no Baptists here. Police told me earlier this morning that they are setting up a barricaded area at the cemetery, too, since the Baptist website announced they were coming. Clean-cut policemen walking up and down the block look strangely out of place at a funeral.
The governor came but must have parked in back, out of sight. Army brass walked by and saluted the long line holding the flags. It is a private funeral for Cpl Jason Corbett, a Wyoming soldier (a paratrooper) to die for me and my family in Iraq.
Wyoming has just 1 in every 610 people in America. By the laws of average, only 5 Wyomingites should have died in the past years in Iraq. But Jason, a young man who graduated from high school a block and a life-time away, was #9, almost doubling the sacrifice our state should make.
Heavy hearts this morning. Proud hearts as the traffic slows.
And I would pray this is the last such funeral I have to witness . .