6/29/2007 10:42:00 AM Editorial Palestine's the model for a town honoring a hero
It's not something a community would ever want to get good at, but Palestine was at its best this week as it commemorated the tragic death of Pfc. Jacob Tracy.
By all accounts, the village was in great shape for the hundreds of visitors who attended the services Wednesday, thanks to village officials and employees as well as citizens who wanted to make sure their town was ready to receive one of its own back home. The ceremonies were moving and dignified, and the presentations and other contributions to the occasion by the military, and by other individuals and groups, were meaningful and memorable. Tracy's life was celebrated as his sacrifice was commemorated.
And the support that came from other communities in Crawford County, as well as during the landing at Mid-American Air Center in Lawrence County last week and along the route from there to Palestine, was just as poignant.
A special blessing was something that didn't happen. The publicity-seeking cult from Kansas that calls itself a church, which has desecrated many military funerals and had plans to do the same in Palestine, showed its ultimate cowardice by calling off its pathetic protest. Deep appreciation should go to the riders of the Patriot Guard, who have preserved the dignity of other funerals threatened by this kooky tribe and whose presence probably had a great deal to do with scaring them off this time.
As the war in Iraq drags on, the chances increase that more tragedies like that of the Tracy family will hit close to home. We're lucky that we've been spared up to now, as victims of the war have come disproportionately from rural areas. But the village of Palestine, along with all the others who have played a part in helping a family and a community through their grief, will always be a model for how it should be done.
"I want to make you proud," is what Tracy told his parents when he joined the Army last year. Clearly, Palestine would have made Tracy proud this week.