ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Heaviness swept over the St. Charles County community as people marched inside Baue Funeral Home on Saturday afternoon to honor the member of the deceased service Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz.
“It’s very, very heavy on our hearts,” said Lawrence Danielson. “We honor a young man who died for our country, as we should, and everyone should.”
Several miles of westbound traffic on Interstate 70 in suburban St. Louis was closed Wednesday as the remains of a Marine killed in Afghanistan are escorted from Lambert Airport to a funeral home.
Elected leaders, loved ones and people who did not know the 20-year-old barged in during the seven-hour public visitation. It was an opportunity to pay tribute to his mother and father who learned late last month that Jared was one of 13 servicemen who died during evacuations in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“The only thing I said [to the parents] is that I don’t know what to tell you, ”said Jeff Hirsch, senior captain of the St. Louis Patriot Guard. “What do you say to someone who says his whole life has just been dismantled and is now expected to move on?” “
Danielson and his wife say they can understand the pain of the family in one way or another, as the family of several members of the military. However, they also know how lucky they are to have seen their children come home after serving.
The Navy is now reporting that the helicopter was landing on the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier when the aircraft’s rotor struck the deck before falling off the side of the ship. One of the five sailors who failed was Bailey Tucker, a graduate of Parkway North High School.
“I had three sons in service, one in Iraq, one in Desert Storm, one in the Persian Gulf, so being in the Vietnam era I’m very proud to be a part of it,” Danielson said. . “It’s a closeness that I don’t think anyone can really relate to unless you’ve helped yourself.
Hirsch says that despite thousands of memorials for the fallen servicemen, the sadness doesn’t get any easier, especially since it falls on the same day as 9/11.
“It probably hits us all the same. It is a very emotional day for the United States. Besides Jared, it’s a very difficult day. Lots of emotions throughout, ”Hirsch said.
Hirsch says that while Jared’s passing hit the community hard, it has also brought so much patriotism and love around this Gold Star family.
“I’ve never seen anything like it. So I applaud St. Louis for coming for this young man, ”Hirsch said. “We will honor them for the rest of the time.”
A private funeral for Jared Schmitz will take place on Thursday. He will be buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
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