Patterico's Pontifications


Would Your Town Do This?

Filed under: General — Jack Dunphy @ 10:53 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

We who dwell in the cities along America’s seacoasts often hear derisive comments about the South and Southerners. But in my travels around the country I’ve found such comments undeserved. In the South one finds a sense of patriotism sorely lacking in the (supposedly) more sophisticated zones that bracket the country. As proof of this I present the below video, which was shot from a police car in Georgia as it trailed the hearse containing the body of Sergeant John Beale, a soldier killed in action in Afghanistan on June 4. As you watch, ask yourself if such a display would likely occur in your own hometown. It certainly wouldn’t in mine.

(Note to commenters: Any hint of snarkiness will be deleted. Save it for another topic.)

–Jack Dunphy

60 Responses to “Would Your Town Do This?”

  1. What a tribute, thanks for posting this video.

    Kevin Gregory (b98b1c)

  2. The great number of patriotic and respectful people that came out to pay tribute to this warrior and his loved ones was unreal. It also made me realize that I may need to leave the big city someday and retire to such a place where their collective priorities – at least as evident by this awesome display – are firmly where they belong! Thanks, Jack.

    I.M. Copper (aa3f50)

  3. We do this in my area but this looked like half of rural Georgia. What a wonderful and deserving tribute to an American hero.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  4. As a denizen of Cave creek, Arizona, I know our little town would do the right thing. It’s why I live here.

    Gazzer (fceaf3)

  5. No. LA saves such honors for such as Michael Jackson–perverse, mutant, multi-millionaire (who could afford to pay his own funeral expenses).

    I think most of America is like your example. Can never figure out why the bulk of us don’t vote like we know we should.

    ManlyDad (060305)

  6. God Bless our Men and Women in Uniform.

    I am proud to be from the South (Born in NC,lived in Florida for 6 years and now back in NC).

    From the looks and opinions of all the super smart
    “Urbanites” that are having to flee the cities that the “smart ones” have destroyed with corruption,high taxes,terrible schools,and high crime rates (Those strict gun laws do a good job of keeping the populace unarmed and easy victims),these “Urbanites” are starting to be proud of the South too.

    I just wish they were smart enough not to vote in the same idiots who screwed up the places they are running from.

    I do believe though that there are many places up North that would show this type of respect for one of our fallen heroes.
    Just not in locations with a very high liberal populace.

    Baxter Greene (8035ae)

  7. Oh. Here’s some insider insights that reflect our admiration of entertainers.

    Backstage Exclusive from the Michael Jackson Memorial

    ManlyDad (060305)

  8. I discovered a much greater respect for others, generally, when I lived in Georgia (near Ft. Benning).

    I was always blown away by the tradition of all traffic, on both sides of the street or multi-lane highway coming to a complete stop and pulling over if a funeral procession was traveling through. All, and I mean ALL, drivers observed this ritual every time I witnessed such a procession.

    Ed from SFV (fabfbd)

  9. My adopted hometown would likely react in a similar manner – but then again, Orange is a great place to live.

    Californio (f32f25)

  10. Any hint of snarkiness will be deleted.

    Sorry, but I can’t help but be snarky and say that in cities like LA, NYC, SF, etc, any gathering along a street that evokes a similar amount of emotion or passion would be for, say, a Gay Day Parade, with scantily dressed God-knows-what. And instead of the red, white and blue, lots of leather whips, belts and chains.

    Mark (411533)

  11. Sadly, I can’t think of any town in California with a population greater than 20,000 that would honor a fallen soldier this way.

    For most of California, the example Berkeley sets at the marine recruiting center is normal.

    God Bless Sergeant Beale and his family.

    Kenny (52d2fa)

  12. Thanks for the reminder of our country’s great loss. Sergeant Beale may you rest in peace and thank you for your dedication and service. We do appreciate it.

    krusher (29db19)

  13. We do this in my area but this looked like half of rural Georgia.

    Georgia is huge and well populated (9th in the US) folks.

    Recently deceased Marine Seth Sharp was met with a similar amount of respect during his recent ceremony:

    I wish I had a pic of the actual paper’s front page, as the above-the-fold picture of the funeral showed a huge number of people from the small town of Adairsville who showed out en masse to pay their respects, with emphasis on RESPECT.

    Cam Winston (2937d1)

  14. Update: click the slideshow in the link I provided, 2nd pick, and you’ll see the turnout JUST AT THE ACTUAL BURIAL for the 20 year old hero. There were more lining the streets along the way.

    God, I love this country.

    Cam Winston (2937d1)

  15. God and Country used to be important, now its Genitalia and Technology.

    Nice showing in GA. Good for them.

    HeavenSent (641cde)

  16. I think most places in the country would respond the same if they knew about it. The problem in my area is knowing about it.

    I moved to Clinton MA in March 2004. For the first year I lived here I got the local weekly paper free in the mail. During the 2004 election there was a scathing op-ed where the paper endorsed Kerry. In the editorial, the editor contrasted the two men by writing that Bush “didn’t serve” while Kerry was a war hero.

    The following week the paper had another article by the same editor (who was probably the owner) that ridiculed all the phone calls and letters he got correcting his assertion that Bush didn’t serve in the military. This editor not only insulted everyone who had ever served in the National Guard, he also repeated the lie that Bush went AWOL.

    Needless to say that when the free copies stopped coming in the mail, there was no way I was going to pay to read that rag.

    So if my town organized a show of support for one of it’s fallen soldiers I wouldn’t know about it. Even if I still did get the local paper, I doubt it would publicize it.

    But I’d be there, along with every other person in this town who loves this country and respects our soldiers.

    Jaynie59 (18e5d1)

  17. It would happen here (Hudson Valley in NY) but not on this scale. From my experience (all my ancestors were Southerners), service to country is ingrained in the spirit of the South in a way it never has been or will be in the North and West, and certainly not in my former West L.A.
    All of smalltown America revere their active servicepeople and veterans, but only in the South is it a truly honored way of life with not a single family (probably) untouched. It is tradition there. These days I’d move to the South in a heartbeat simply because they believe in America. These pictures prove it.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  18. This reminds me of the movie, “Taking Chance” with Kevin Bacon. This was hero, Chance Phelps. Phelps Hall at “29 Stumps” was named for him.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  19. if, and that’s a big if, it got announced in LA, a few people would turn out in respect, but you’d get a lot more moonbats cheering……

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  20. Nearly all small towns in every state I’ve lived in (CO, NE, and SD) would’ve done the same thing.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  21. Many make fun of the NASCAR hillbillies, but they’re smarter than the urbanites and not ashamed to wear their patriotism on their sleeves – and unsurprisingly, they tend to serve our country in uniform in greater numbers as well. Was it Churchill who said “where do we find such men?”

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  22. Nice tribute. I just spent 23 weeks in Ft. Benning and Ft. Bragg and will probably deploy next year. I’m proud to wear the uniform now. When I got home from training to somewhat-batty Austin TX I was pleased to hear a lot of praise from people from all walks of life. Texas knows how to treat it’s military folk because its such an ingrained way of life here, even in its stereotypical lefty enclave.

    SPC Jack Klompus (c1922b)

  23. I live in a coastal state that is largely urban, and this is pretty typical of where I live. I have seen similar displays on about three occasions in other cities around my state, and participated in one in the county where I live.

    I have also seen it done for firefighters and believe a big city police officer got a similar reception for his funeral after dying in the line of duty.

    Of course, I live in Texas, not California. The big city with the police funeral was Houston, which is almost as large as L.A., so it is not a matter of size.

    Mark L (dffa7e)

  24. Compelling and Inspirational!
    Thank you, Jack.
    And, Thank You, SFC John Beale!

    AD - RtR/OS! (002e28)

  25. Although I live in a big city, I frequently attend the Independence Day parade in Crown Point, Indiana, about 50 miles from Chicago. It is pretty festive, in a traditional, Norman Rockwell kind of way. 4 years ago, Crown Point lost one of their own in Iraq. The funeral turnout was large, and during the parade, the silent tribute to the young man was very moving. Every year, I’m impressed to see how the VFW guys are applauded in this parade.

    Here in Chicago, the only comparable thing I have seen is for fallen police officers, where they still play the bagpipes.

    carlitos (024936)

  26. If you check the on-screen info you find that this funeral procession went through two (or more) counties south of Atlanta…

    AD - RtR/OS! (002e28)

  27. I will add that many military funerals here in the recent past were disrupted by the Code – Pink asshats, until a group of locals (both former servicemen and just ordinary folk) started attending the same funerals and going after them as soon as they showed up.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  28. Jack,
    Thanks for posting this. Very moving.

    Chris (a24890)

  29. DMac – was that in the city proper?

    carlitos (024936)

  30. Great Post – God Bless all our men and women who serve. About a year ago we had a soldier from our town killed in Afghanistan and I went to the funeral. Our “town” has 140,000 residents and is a suburb of Chicago. I was never more proud of my town, and never more pissed at the idiots from my town. I was proud that our town raised a young man who sacrificed to serve, and die for his country — I was very proud of him. I was also proud of the local High School’s football team. You see, the soldier who was killed had played football all four years in High School. The entire football team showed up for the funeral wearing their jerseys and they were very respectful young men. They understood. They made me proud.

    I was pissed as hell at all the knuckleheads in my town who didn’t take the time to show respect for what this young man had done — the turn out at the funeral service was decent, but I had expected a lot more people would have come to pay their respects. They were all too damn busy living their glorified, yuppiefied lives, to take two hours out of the “busy” schedule to show their respects for this brave young man. He had served two full tours in Iraq, then went to Afghanistan for his third tour, had been wounded three times, then was wounded again in June 08 and could have come home. But he wouldn’t leave his unit and a few weeks later he was killed. And these namby pamby suburban *&^%&^%& heads couldn’t take the time to show respect!!! Man was I pissed. But damn it, man I was proud that soldier. God Bless Tony Mihalo.

    The Patriot Guard Riders were there too and they were awesome. My hat goes off to those men and women who bring honor and respect to funerals all across our nation for our fallen Heros.

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  31. We have done the samething in my small town in Oklahoma. Of course, most of Oklahoma will does this as well even when they are from the big cities.

    cstmbuild (be02cc)

  32. Watched it three times, could not get through the “Letter” song and “TAPS” without bawling my eyes out. Here’s to all service personnel out there-“God bless you and may He bless America” (even though we don’t deserve it!)

    1MPTomb (a9e1b1)

  33. My children watched the video with me, which gave me another opportunity to explain to them about the sacrifices our Military makes for our great Country. My 5 year old daughter said “He was very brave fighting the bad guys. I wish I could give him a hug, and say thank you.”

    God Bless Sergeant John Beale, and all our men and women in harms way!

    Thanks to Jack Dunphy for posting the tribute.

    Ed O'Shea (4e0dda)

  34. Some of us veterans who ride motorcycles support the Patriot Guard Riders. We respond when invited by standing flag lines, welcome home patriots, send them off, and show respect and support at military and law enforcement funerals.

    In short, we don’t wait for cities to do the right thing. In my opinion, most cities in flyover states are just waiting for someone to say it is okay to show support in an age of oppressive political correctness.

    Now if we can just get people to put away their cell phones, etc. and show respect for the few seconds it takes for the flag to pass them by…

    vet66 (9d1bb3)

  35. Just semi-related – someone recently told me that when he visited Las Vegas a couple of years ago, cabbies and other employees informed him that their favorite time of year was early winter, when the National Finals Rodeo is held there. It’s the second biggest event in terms of bringing in visitors, I think. But the main reason given was that the people who attended – representatives of “fly-over country” – were far more courteous and appreciative than the average Vegas tourist.

    Dagwood (3b3ce5)

  36. Very moving.

    Godspeed Sgt. Beale and thank you and all of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. All of you are the best of us.

    Who wrote the “Letter” song? That one is a killer.

    Thanks, Jack.

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  37. it wouldn’t happen in denver colorado, but it might happen in the rural parts of the state. who knows if it would happen even there – colorado is a purple state now.

    i currently reside in the uk and for soldiers who are killed in either iraq or afghanistan, it is amazing that the town of wootten bassett (there are some really wild town names here) welcomes them home. recently there were 8 british soldiers killed over a period of 24 hours in afghanistan and thousands of people lined the streets to show respect.

    the uk is not the most receptive or welcoming for soldiers, but you have to hand it to their response in these situations.

    they’re now debating whether it is worth it to have troops over there – but that is a different issue. for this, they deserve a hearty well-done!

    ktr (c921b5)

  38. In April, 1968, Lt. Donald Matocha, USMC, was lost in action, presumed to be KIA, in Vietnam. His body was not located until 2004, when his remains were discovered, identified and returned to the States.

    His remaining silblings were offered the right to bury Lt. Matocha at Arlington National Cemetary but they declined, stating instead that they perferred to bury their brother next to his parents.

    36 years after his death, Lt. Matocha was returned to his home town, Smithville, Texas, a small community of 4,400, 40 miles east of Austin.

    There were over 5,000 people attending Lt. Matocha’s funeral, including military of all branches, the Patriot Riders who protected the funeral, color guard from Texas A & M (Lt. Matocha’s university) and regular citizens from all neighboring town. The procession from the funeral home was miles long.

    We, who are ridiculed and mocked by the elites of the twin coasts, do not forget. We honor those who have given all. It is the Southern way.

    Perhaps it would behoove the rest of the nation to have a little “Dixie” in them.

    retire05 (dc14ef)

  39. ktr,

    Just to let you know…It’s happened in that uber suburb of Highlands Ranch. Not to mention, those HR residents are raising their own money for their own veterans memorial. And, oh, Denver does have its own veterans parade.

    Just because CO is (currently. PPINIOFR) voting Dem does not mean the state’s citizenry spits on the troops.

    Brad S (9f6740)

  40. Well they come down out of the country backroads to wait at the intersection at the highway when the hearse passes by–to say goodby and pay their respects.

    This morning the Los Angeles Times had an article on the Op Ed page by a woman named Pat Saperstein–the mother of a young man going off to be a Marine. She’s an editor at Variety -the film industry trade magazine. The words in italics are direct qoutes from her article. “The idea of having a son in the military still seems strange, but I’m starting to get used to it.”

    Her friends were shocked–and offered advice including “he should see a pyschologist“–did his mother know how “underhanded the recruiters could be”.

    “In our liberal, antiwar sphere, his desire to enlist was met with shock–even hostility. . .A friend with anarchist leanings pleaded with me to get him counseling. One mother stated firmly that she felt her job as a parent was to raise her daughter so that there would be no chance that she would ever join the military.”

    Look, I know that our posts on this issue are supposed to be a snark free zone. But when I look at the respect and honor paid to Sergeant Beale–who left the military then came back to join the National Guard, and then I think about the good citizens (more realistically “residents”) of West Los Angeles I have two words. “Ungrateful” and “freeloaders”.

    Rest in peace Sergeant Beale. There’s at least one citizen here in Los Angeles who is grateful for your service and sacrifice. My condolences to your family.

    Mike Myers (674050)

  41. OK, the “Letter” song that just about wiped me out from the video is “If You’re Readin’ This” by Tim McGraw.

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  42. As a displaced Yankee now living in the deep South, I can say without hesitation that plenty of the stereotypes of Southerners are true.

    But at the end of the day, there are no better neigbors and friends, and no better Americans. Yes, I’m surrounded by NASCAR-addicted beer swilling rednecks who probably are too fond of their sisters … but the times I’ve needed help from neighbors, they lined up in droves.

    In a real crisis, I couldn’t find better people to have watching my back.

    Every American should spend at least a few years living in the old Confederacy, if they get the chance. It is different. But it is part of America that runs deep and true.

    If New Hampshire falls into the ocean tomorrow, we’ll still be America. If we lost Texas or Tennessee? It wouldn’t be the same country anymore. The South is our heart and soul, and its people are our courage.

    Professor Blather (4ae5cc)

  43. retire05 and Professor Blather: Both well said.

    BJTexs (a2cb5a)

  44. DMac – was that in the city proper?

    Carlitos, I believe the Code Pink arseholes showed up at a number of military funerals in the collar suburbs as well as the outlying ones. They did attempt to disrupt one funeral in the city proper, but ran away when passersby started stopping their cars and began to chase after them. If it wasn’t for the police protection that day, they would’ve understood just what a lot of us think about them. Farking cowards, as usual.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  45. Tears fell while I watched the recording. It is inspiring to see that in America, the public still honors men who battle evil. My prayers go to Sgt Beales family as they suffer in this tragedy. I am filled with pride that I live in country that produces heroes that routinely sacrifice themselves and their families for duty, honor, country.

    jkstewart2 (9c4418)

  46. I’m glad to see them honored but others are dying every day who should be remembered too. We owe them all a lot.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  47. You Tube has many of these memorial videos. God awful sad and moving. Sergeant John Beale is in a better place now. He is forever young.

    Boils (184816)

  48. As an American and a Georgian I am damn proud to be both after watching this video. To give the readers a sense of the magnitude of this event, the motorcade traveled about 40 miles from the small airport and went thru 3 counties and about 10 cities, towns and communities along the way. It is not rural Georgia. Its the area just south of the Atlanta main airport.

    Ron Olliff (0503a0)

  49. My town, Mission Viejo, made a big deal about Aaron bank who lived here until he died last year. The smaller cities and towns are far more in tune with traditional values than the rabbit warren big cities where the lefties hole up.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  50. Well, five years ago. Time flies.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  51. SPC Jack Klompus #22,

    I wondered where you had gone. Thank you for your service, and I’m glad you’re home for a little while.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  52. If New Hampshire falls into the ocean tomorrow, we’ll still be America.

    If it weren’t for the Granite State, there might not have been an America.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, of New Hampshire heritage (b4aaa5)

  53. This video makes me DAMNED proud to be a native Georgian.

    Sadly, a couple of years ago, a very similar scene played out in my hometown, which is located near the coastal city of Savannah. A local National Guardsman was killed in Iraq. According to the local newspaper, every business in town closed and more than 1,500 people lined the streets as the procession bearing the soldier’s body arrived in town on a Thursday morning. (This, in a town with a little more 3,500 residents.)

    Anyway, Sgt. Beale and the people you saw paying their respects to him in the video are the folks who make this the greatest country on earth.

    L.A. and the libs can have Michael Jackson. I’ll take Sgt. Beale every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

    Bubba Maximus (456175)

  54. Bradley’s right, and of course you could say the exact same thing about Vermont and MA – but those states bear absolutely no resemblance to their forebears anymore, so who cares, indeed? Some of the denizens of the neighboring states of Vermont actually call it “The People’s Socialist Republic of Vermont.”

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  55. My fathers family was from the deep south so jokes about “rednecks” always bothered me a bit.
    Not long ago my California sister and her family moved to Texas. After living there for a month my brother-in-law was almost hit walking through a parking lot. The driver, who did not have a southern accent started yelling but and it soon looked like they were going to come to blows. Out of no where a tall cowboy (literally) stepped between the two of them and said in slow Texas drawl, “You two cut that out now, there’ll be no fight’in on the Lord’s Day.”
    In moments he had the two of them shaking hands and apologizing to each other, and my brother-in-law wasn’t even a Christian.

    In a lot of ways the Southern love of the military is an extension of their cultures need to look after others, and they do a better job than most.

    Thanks Jack, and thanks to the Beale family who raised a hero for us all.

    tyree (707587)

  56. Jacksonian America still lives in the Heart of the South.
    As long as that is true, America will endure.

    AD - RtR/OS! (002e28)

  57. […] a similar vein, you should also watch this video (via Patterico and Jack Dunphy) on the arrival of the hearse carrying the body of Sgt. John Beale who was also killed in […]

    Honoring the fallen | Hoystory (6855c0)

  58. The burbs of Cincinnati still does that.

    A coworker’s son was killed in 2004 in Iraq, literally thousands stood on the roadside and an equal number attended the funeral.

    Inside the city limits, the cultural of liberalism would only turn out to protest riot for someone with a long criminal record.

    The Machiavellian (08b739)

  59. Tears flowed watching it…what a sense of pride…thank God For Sgt Beale…and I so appreciate those who took the time to show their last respects to an American hero.

    God I love those who sacrifice their time and lives for us….THANK YOU!

    SharpRightTurn (50d4e3)

  60. We should all say a prayer for this fallen hero and for the one’s that have also pasted, as well as the one’s that continue on.

    Barry Pillard (621974)

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