Friday, June 01, 2007

Funeral procession for Joseph Anzack Jr.

"It is only the dead who have seen the end of war."

I just heard on tv news, that Joseph Anzack Jr, the Army Corporal (a posthumous promotion from Pfc.) who was among the missing three, and whose body turned up in the Euphrates, had his memorial service today. I had thought to attend, but failed to follow the news and did not realize it would be this afternoon. I would have had to work, anyway; but I still would have liked to have tried to go pay my respects and show of support.
The horse-drawn carriage carrying the body of U.S. Army Cpl. Joseph Anzack Jr. solemnly made its way across Torrance today for funeral services at South High School.

About 30 South Bay police motorcycle officers opened the funeral cortege, followed by the white horse, driven by a man clad in a black coat and top hat.

Anzack's flag-draped casket lay inside the white-wheeled carriage. His family stood watching at 3:58 p.m. at Rice Mortuary on Torrance Boulevard as soldiers loaded the casket into the carriage. Sitting in a black limosine, relatives of the 20-year-old soldier followed the carriage as the procession began at 4:05 p.m.

About 100 veterans on Harley-Davidson motorcycles followed, flags waving behind their roaring engines.

Hundreds of spectators lined the procession route, especially in front of the mortuary. Many carried American flags.

"We came to pay our respects to the young man," said Liz Hassoldt, watching with her son, Steve.

"A fantastic sight," said Redondo Beach resident Henry Burke.

As the procession slowly made its way through the streets of Torrance, people started to fill the stands at the school. The driveway was lined with flags as the carriage arrived at 4:50 p.m. Hundreds of spectators stood at attention.

All South High football players were on hand, with the varsity team lining the track wearing dark green jerseys. The younger players sat in the stands.

About 300 seats were set up on the field for family, the football team and local dignitaries.

Several members of Anzack's division also attended to show their respects.

Meanwhile, the search for the other missing two soldiers goes on....sometimes with deadly results.

Members of Anzack's platoon choked back tears at news of his death and said they would not stop looking for the two others.

"We can't leave them behind. I just hope that they have enough faith to keep them going. What they're going through right now, I can't imagine," said Pfc. Sammy Rhodes, 25, of Albuquerque

The U.S. military also announced Thursday that two U.S. soldiers were killed the day before while conducting combat operations in Iraq's volatile Anbar Province. Those deaths raised the American death toll for the month to at least 82. Last month, 104 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq.

Teresa Anzack holds the hand of her 16-year-old daughter, Casey, as they pray for Joseph Anzack Jr., whose body has just been flown home to Torrance from Iraq. All photos by Steve McCrank, staff photographer of the Torrance Daily Breeze.
God bless his family, and look after them in this time of grieving. May they know that a nation mourns with them and is grateful to Army Cpl. Joseph Anzack Jr. for his service and sacrifice. May he rest in peace; and may his family live on, in peace.

Previous post

more photos from the Torrance Daily Breeze

More links of interest at Spread the Word Iraq-Nam including a link to a previous post, linking this LATimes piece:

"I set some candles down with a vow: 'I'm sorry I couldn't be there, Joe, but I'll make it up to you by going over there and doing your job,' " Geraldo said, referring to Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr., the Army gunner found dead Wednesday in Iraq.

Geraldo, who was recently discharged from the Marine Corps because of a medical problem, said he was working with a recruiter to get back into the service as soon as possible. "I'm trying to get back in. I'd go over there now if I could."

Well, God bless the quality and character of Anzack's friend, Richard Geraldo, age 19!

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Blogger Gayle said...

Another wonderful tribute to one of our fallen soldiers, Wordsmith. You do good work!

Saturday, June 02, 2007 9:10:00 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Wonderful Tribute!!

"God bless his family, and look after them in this time of grieving. May they know that a nation mourns with them and is grateful to Army Cpl. Joseph Anzack Jr. for his service and sacrifice. May he rest in peace; and may his family live on, in peace."

My sentiments exactly!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007 9:44:00 AM  
Anonymous SK said...

An absolutely beautiful tribute.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 2:16:00 PM  
Anonymous skye said...

Did the NY Slimes print these photos on their front page, I wonder?

I have to remember to keep kleenex near when reading your memorial posts...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 6:46:00 PM  

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