I've been back a couple days now from the funeral.
The funeral home quickly became filled with people coming to pay their last respects to JJ. Jason and Claire did so well, they were holding up so good. When I got there and greeted them I just went mute, I just didn't know what to say. I just hugged Claire and wished I had the words to say.
The service was SRO. So many people wanted to pay their respects to this young man. I heard many a person say that they didn't even know the family, they just wanted to come pay their respects. After the Chaplin gave the services he invited people that wished to speak about Jason to come forward. JJ's brother went first and talked about his brother. Throughout the day Parker did himself and his family proud. He spoke wonderfully about the bond he had with JJ and what they meant to each other. During the day I saw Parker talking to others, helping them with their grief, he showed what a fine young man he was becoming.
I made it through the service with just a little misting over. I felt like I was cried out over JJ. Afterwards the possession was to the cemetery. The possession made its way through the town of Canton, passing the local shopping center, through the heart of the small town and passed the local high school.
On the way I found I still had plenty of tears for JJ. Alongside the streets were gathered people, lots of people, all standing with flags or saluting or just standing out in the cold offering their respect. The stores were closed so the people working could stand out front. The high school was closed, all the students were in front. As we drove down the street two hook an ladder trucks from the fire department were ahead of us, their ladders forming an arch we passed beneath with flags drapped from their heights.
I saw one little girl, she couldn't have been more than five or six standing next to her Mom, holding a small flag and waving it as we drove past. I couldn't stop the tears as I drove, I kept wiping at my eyes and driving. But I couldn't believe the amount of people on the streets. So many people.
At the cemetery I heard the Chaplin (who was the Police Chaplin for the County) tell Claire that he was ready to start, but the people just seemed to keep coming. He said he had never seen anything like this in his career.
I knew at the site, with the 21 gun salute and the folding of the flag I would get more emotional. I did at my Dad's funeral when they fired the guns. It was bitterly cold out there, but no one was in a rush to get it over with.
But finally I had to leave and head back to Louisiana.
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