As years pass, we as a nation lose more and more of our older veterans, especially those who fought for our country in World War II. Though much time has gone by, the passing of our veterans still deserve to be honored and respected. This story shows that their sacrifices have not been forgotten.
United States soldier Thomas Hunter served in the Army for 7 years during World War II and was present and participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He passed at the age of 93 this year.
Thomas Hunter only had a few nieces who survived him and they were wondering who they could get to carry his casket during his funeral. That’s when the funeral director, Bryan Price, of Winnfield, Louisiana, had an idea.
Mr. Price, director of Southern Funeral Homes, called the local football coach Lyn Bankston and asked for some good young men to help.
The players he picked included: Matthew Harrell, Brett Jurek, Justin Lawson, T.J. Homan, Christian Evans and Lee Estay, all of whom stepped up and agreed to the task. “These are all young men who are leaders in our program and our community. They know the sacrifice Mr. Hunter made and it meant something to them,” said coach Bankston.
So the teens showed up, wearing their football uniforms, and made their small town proud in carrying out the duties of the funeral ceremony. They were later praised by Representative Ralph Abraham on the House floor. Abraham said, “They didn’t know this man, but they knew that every veteran deserves to die with dignity and be honored for the sacrifices he made in defense of this nation. I think the actions of these young men speak volumes about what’s truly important — country, community, family, God.”
Some people have worried that there is a disconnect between young generations and the accomplishments and sacrifices of the older generations, but Bankston’s comments show that respect and value of our nation’s history has indeed been passed down. “We’re trying to teach more than football here,” said the coach. “One of the things we try to teach our young people is to value history and to recognize that so many people sacrificed so they could have the life they have.”
The young men and their coach deserves all the praise they have received for sending such a loving message of decency and respect for our veterans.