I was writing along quietly when I heard the choppers overhead. Then here came an email from my neighbor Linda to ask if anyone wanted to join her in watching the funeral procession pass. It had slipped my mind entirely that this was the funeral day for Navy Seal Glen Doherty, whose life was lost in the attack in Benghazi, Libya just one week ago, when angry protesters stormed the U.S. consulate.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and two others also perished.
Glen was a child of this town, and the town turned out to honor his memory.
I wish I had captured more pictures, but how could I snap the hearse going by, and the limousine holding the immediately bereaved?
I looked, and then I had to look away.
I thought of at least taking pictures of all the students at Winchester High lining the streets to honor the passing of this their predecessor by a quarter of a century but I didn’t have the heart for that either. In the end I only took this picture of them as they filed back into the school, the American flags they were holding now tucked away again.
The,n ten minutes later, when the choppers had moved west into the hills to hover over St. Eulalia’s where the Funeral Mass was being said, I crossed the street and took this photo, out behind the town’s Senior Center. It could almost be May, couldn’t it, for how verdant the landscape still looks.
The green won’t last, as the little squirrel also captured here well knows. Alas, we are all on Time’s escalator going down.
As the clock sounded the 11th hour, I thought of John Donne’s “Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”
It tolled yesterday for 42-year-old Glen Doherty, who I remember as part of Coach Tremblay’s Wrestling Squad when he was a boy and life, and fatherhood, and service to the nation were all still before him.