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Entries in Casket (2)

Thursday
Aug252011

Slain Navy SEAL's Dog by His Side at Funeral

Lisa Pembleton(ROCKFORD, Iowa) -- They say that a dog is a man's best friend, and for Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson, 35, and his beloved and loyal dog Hawkeye, not even death could break this powerful bond.

At Tumilson's funeral in Rockford on Aug. 19, his beloved canine lay at the foot of the casket throughout the ceremony, barely moving as Tumilson's family and friends eulogized him. Tumilson's cousin Lisa Pembleton took the heart-wrenching photo of the devoted dog, known to Tumilson's family and friends as his "son."

"I took this picture and that was my view throughout the entire funeral. I couldn't NOT take a picture," Pembleton said. "It took several attempts since every time I wasn't crying and could focus on taking it, there was a SEAL at the microphone and I didn't want to take a picture with them for security and respect reasons. Our family is devastated to say the least."

Petty Officer Tumilson, from Rockford, Iowa, was one of 22 Navy SEALS who died when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by Afghan insurgents, claiming the lives of 30 Americans.

More than 50 SEALs were in attendance at the funeral. Though the funeral was taped, most of it was only audio so as not to disclose the identity of the SEALs.

"From a young age, J.T. wanted nothing more than to be a SEAL," said an attendee, possibly a SEAL, in a speech at the funeral. "I didn't realize the depth of his desire until I stepped into his bedroom at his parent's house for the first time. His room was a shrine...pictures, paintings, books and videos all related to being a Navy SEAL."

Tumilson joined the Navy in 1995 and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Defense Meritorious Service Medal, in addition to numerous medals he won throughout his service. He is survived by a large family, including his parents, two sisters and many extended relatives.

"Even though you were the baby of the family, I want you to know how much I looked up to you," said one of his sisters, speaking through tears at the funeral. "You always showed so much strength, courage, determination and selfless love."

In a statement, Tumilson's family said that he "died living his dream as a Navy SEAL."

"Jon was a Navy SEAL and he was proud to die this way -- for his country and for the people he loved so much," his family wrote. "We respect the nature of their jobs and the need to protect these men and women so they can continue to serve our nation; therefore, we will not provide details of Jon's military service."

Hawkeye, Tumilson's faithful dog, is being cared for by one of the SEAL's friends.

Tumilson's family has started a memorial fund and contributions can be made to Frogman 238 Memorial Fund, First Security Bank and Trust, 201 West Main Ave., Rockford, IA 50468.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan132011

Christina Taylor Green's Casket Passes Under 9/11 Flag at Funeral

Photo Courtesy - Mamta Popat | Pool(TUCSON, Ariz.) --The casket of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green was carried underneath a flag that flew at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and into a Tucson church Thursday, a tribute to a young girl who was born on the day the Twin Towers fell and died in another tragedy outside of an Arizona supermarket.

Green's family members met the casket and solemnly escorted it into the St. Elizabeth-Ann Seton Catholic Church for the afternoon funeral, the first funeral service for one of the six people who lost their lives last Saturday morning.

Representatives from the New York City Fire Department brought the 9/11 flag to Arizona for the service, where it was hung from two Tucson Fire Department ladder trucks. The enormous banner includes the remnants of a 30-foot American flag that survived the 2001 terror attack.

The church was filled with mourners paying their respects to the young girl who whose life was cut short as she stood waiting to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. The husband of the severely wounded Giffords, Astronaut Mark Kelley, was on hand for the service, as were some of Green's friends and classmates.

Christina Taylor Green was the youngest of all the victims of the shooting rampage in Tucson last weekend.

The nine-year-old, who was born on 9/11, had been recently elected a member of her elementary school's student council and was intensely interested in politics.

President Barack Obama spoke about the third-grader at a memorial service in Tucson on Wednesday night. "I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it," Obama said.

Her classmates from Mesa Verde Elementary School left handwritten messages alongside colorful ribbons, candles and flowers placed at the chain link fence near their playground.

School officials said crisis teams would be at the school for "many days...as long as we need to be here."

Many of Christina Taylor Green's classmates were expected to attend the funeral, which grief experts say can be important, as long as they are prepared and a loved one goes with them.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio