A funeral and a military-memorial service for victims of the Texas church shooting were held Saturday on a Veterans Day scarred by the knowledge that half the victims had connections to the Air Force.
About 100 people gathered outside the Sutherland Springs community center for the memorial, sitting on folding chairs or standing amid red-white-and-blue bunting.
A color guard from St. Mary’s ROTC presented the colors. A wreath was placed near flags honoring those slain. First responders and law enforcement officers stood in a circle, with heads bowed in prayer.
The memorial ceremony was a block away from the First Baptist Church, which is slated for demolition after the massacre during Sunday services Nov. 5 that killed 25 people including a pregnant woman and wounded 20.
Wilson County Judge Richard Jackson’s voice broke as he thanked the emergency workers who rushed to the church to treat the wounded in a scene that will affect them the rest of their lives.
Jackson, the county’s top administrator, said he hopes the ceremony will start a healing process “to put this horrific tragedy behind us and look to the future.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Bart Jansen