New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 7, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
HERALD-ZEiTUNGXOM | Thursday, July 7, 2011 | 5
LAURA McKENZIE | Herald-7eitiing
Chris Valdez holds his son Noah, 4, as they watch Wednesday's processional for U.S. Marines Lance Cpi. John F. Farias in downtown New Braunfels.
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strc.iniing out oi downtown l)usi nesses to [>ay homage to the ()rotession, which was a little late arriving from New Braunfels Municipal Airport.
There, hundreds more stood in somber siUnice as they watched Marines tenderly lift the casket containing Farias' liody from th(> private jet that also transport(‘d his father Felix and other tamily m(*mbers from Delaware.
By 1():iO a.m., more peo[)le began gathering in the plaza, where friends and neighbors re( ailed the fallen hero and 2009 ( áfivon f ligh S( hool graduate.
"I knew his father real well - w(' used to go to school together," Lupe V'aldez said. "I'm very sor-r\ this happened - it was his only son.
"It's very nice for all the people to ( ome out and «;a\ their good-byes. This kind of thing, it's always sad."
I upe's son, ('hris Valdez, is a Navy veteran who brt)ught his sons out to wit-ii('ss the oc( asion.
"I used to go to Canyon nnself, anil I know the kind ot sacrific e he made to go overseas and give it his all.
"He gave everything for his community here in New Braunfels, and I ho[)e everyone comes out to show th(' men and women in the military that their s(‘rvice is appret iated."
Youngsters got a lesson in what that means. Uniformed Boy Scouts awaited the procession in front of Naegelin's Bakery.
"1 camc‘ out hère to see the soldier who died, and Eagle Sc r-ol(i Israel tinez. "Someday, I hope to be one too."
Israel was with his parents, David and Lisa Martinez, who said Israel's lirothers are also Marines, including one who is currently serving in Afghanistan.
Another Scout, 11 -year-old lac kson Roels, said his lather is serving in the military.
"I know what it teels like when somc'one's gone and
DALONOO MOULTRIE | Herald-Zeitung Two firetrucks support a flag at Wednesday's processional for U.S Marines Lance CpI. John F. Farias in downtown New Braunfels.
a He gave everything for his community here in New Braunfels, and I hope everyone comes out to show the men and women in the military that their service is appreciated.”
Chris Valde/ I Navv veteran
you don't see them in a while," he said. "And then, if you lose them, it's kind ot hard. You want to encourage the family and tell the* soldier thank you for giving us our freedom."
The procession began arriving at 10:4.5 a.m., and the crowd began surging
from the circ le into the street for a (loser glimpse, many of tliem holding placards thanking Farias for lis duty.
Preceding the hearse were dozens of vehicles reprc'senting almost ever) arm of law enforcement in the city and county. The
roar of 200 motorcycles carrying former veterans and f’atriot (iuard Riders usherc'd in a car containing family members and the hearsc' Ix^aring Farias' lK)dy.
Tears streamed down Stella limencv's face as it passcHl. She silc'ntly soblH*d while waving the flag.
"It's very humbling, very moving," sh(* said. "They go and fight for our frc'e-dom so we c an enjoy cvich and every day that we stK'nd here, and then to sc*e tnem c omt' b<\c k this way."
Dozens of vehicle's followed behind the hcNUse, including a flec't of maiivtc*-nanc v vehic l(“s from ( omal ISD, si'nt by the district's maintenanc e director, anothc'r Marine veteran.
All too Soon, the proc c*s-sion (Mided on the* [ilaza and continued down I .inda Str(M*t tow.ird Zofdler Funeral Home. At the corner ol Landa and I anda I’ark Drive, across from the* Wurstfest grounds, about TOO young c hildren hoistc'd and waived their little- U.S. flag Ians in .inothc^r show ol resf)c'c t.
"It's very c'motional and ver\ hard," limencv said. "We suf)(X)rt the family. We grieve* with the family at the same time. It's a sad time."
he* was an Eagle Scout," said 1 J-year-olci Israel Mar-
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of idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom and play taps to a fallen f(K)l. This message to be ^reached In respectful, awful proximity to the memorial f)f I ance ( pi. )ohn f. Farias."
The fl(x ument adds that the protest will begin at 10:1 S a.m.
"I know that theygem'r-ally say that for any ty[x* of militar\' funeral that they're planning on [Kotesting, fnit we don't have anything spec ifit saying that they're going to ne there," said ('apt. Micha(*l Penshorn of New Braiinfels Police Department. "1 think they just say that tht*y're going to show, arid they jusl show up for one in ma>lx‘ a hundred."
NBPD is not planning "anything sp(*( ific or out of the ordinary" to deal with the possible protest, adding the departm(*nt will alr(*ady Ix* out in force to handle the* large (rowd expt*( ted for Farias' funeral. H(* also said the group would not nec*d a [)(»rmit to stage a protest.
A call to the Topeka (hurrh Wednesday night went unanswered.
The document (on-tlud('s with a stat(‘m(*nt that ap[)ears to use f arias' death to justify a possible f)rot(*st.
"I ance Cpi. f-arias g.ive his lit(* tor the* constitutional right ot iWc'stboro Baptist ( hurch) to warn ,Arn(*r-ic a. To deny us our 1 irst /\mendment rights is to dec larc* to the world that l.ancc* (;pl. 1 arias died m vain, ancl that Americ a is a n.ition of sodomite h\p o( iit(*s."
VVc'stboro Baptist (jhurch has made h(*ad-linc's in ri*( c*nt vears tor its [)rotc*sts at military luner-als, among oth(*r [)l,u c*s, A( cording to the Anti-i 1 )c*t.im<Ui(>n I c'ague's web site*, adl.org, "Wc'stboro i Baptist ( hurc h (WBCi is a
smal r virulently homophc)-bIc, anti-Semitic hate group that regularly stag« protests around the country, often several times a week. The* group pickets institutions and individuals they think support homo-Sf’xuality or otherwise subvert what they believe is ( iod's law."
The site c ontinues: "Incorpxated in 1 as a not-for-[)rofit organization, WB(‘ considers itself an "Old Sc h(K)l (or Primitive)" Baf)tist ( hurch, WBC's l(*ader is I red Phelps ancl sc'veral ol his c hildren and dozens of his grande hil-dren ap[)c*ar to c onstitutc* the* majority of the* group's mc*mbers WBf has no official affiliation with mainstrc'am Baptist organ-i/ations,"
In April, U,S. Sc*n, OlyrTipia Snowe, K*Mainc*, follc)Wing Su()reme (jourt decision to f)c*rmit the Wc.*stboro Ba[)tist ('hurch to [protest military func*r a Is, introduced the Sa ne ti-tyof Ftc'rnal R(*st forVc*ter-ans Ac t - clubbed the SI RVF Ac t — in an effort to kt*e() protesters from gc'tting too close* to military funerals and inc re*ase pc'nalties for breaking the rules ol ( onduc t.
Soldiers' familie's "have* (*arne*d the right to bury the'ir lov(*cl one*s in |X\u e*," Snowc* told tlu‘ Portland (Maine) Pre*ss Heralcl tor ,tn April 1 \ storv.
The Siipfc'fiK* (Ourt ruled H-1 in M.irch that First Amendment trc*e s[)ec*c h rights [)rotect the* ,inti-ga\ |)rot(*sts staged l)v VVestboro Baptist ('hurch at militafv funerals nation-uide, militarwiom rc'ports.
( iirrf'nt law rec|uires a 1 "iO-tcMIt Ixvundtirv arc)uncl a militar\ funeral sc*rvK (* .inci iOO tec*t .iround the a( c ess route to th(* serv-H C*.
Snoue's bill v\oli1cI inc rc*asc' the butters to iíH) tee*t and ')()() tc'c't, rc'spc'c -hvelv the Press Hc*rald re()orts.
The* proposal .idcis penalties on violators oi up to two vears in prisori.
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