Thursday, November 29, 2007

In Honor of Luke Emch...

Some of you may remember my post from Memorial Day, in which I mentioned Luke Emch. Luke was a native of our area, who lost his life in Iraq. My sons and I were privileged to hold a flag in his honor as the funeral procession carried his body to the cemetery.

I was recently contacted by a woman who puts together condolence books for the families of our fallen heroes.

Below is my account of the day we held the flag, as well as the e-mail post from this kind woman--who is also the mom/mother-in-law of military personnel. I have posted this with her permission.

I feel humbled and quite honored!

March 12, 2007

The funeral for Navy Hospitalman Luke Emch, of Tallmadge (Ohio) was held this morning at 10 a.m. He was 21, and was killed in Iraq on March 2nd. The funeral procession was to go past our town, on its way to the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, though a specific time was not given in the paper.

The boys and I walked to the overpass a little before 1 p.m. We took a couple of flags with us. "Harry" held the smaller one (about 8" X 18"). While we were waiting, we had many, many drivers honk, wave, or both. It was so neat! They saw that flag, and responded. We were just about to give up and walk home, when I could see the flashing lights of the motorcade coming toward us.

"Clyde" and I held up the other, larger flag (3' x 5'). As the procession went under the overpass, the faces of all the drivers and passengers turned upward. Almost every person in that procession waved at us. It was something I will never forget.

I'm so glad we took the time to let that family know that, even though we don't know them personally, we honor their son, and that he gave his life for his country.

I just wanted to share our experience with you.
Hello Joni,
I came across your blog post about Luke Emch this morning.

I too never had the privilege of meeting him. But this afternoon another
military Mom and myself around going to deliver a condolence book
to their family.

I am an Air Force Mom and Air Force Mother in Law. My son Vincent is
23. We live in Twinsburg. He met his 23 year old Air Force wife Dana a few years
back, while stationed at a base in Nebraska. The kids were married in May of 2006.

For several years now I have belong to an online military condolence group.
Folks from all across the country and some even outside the US, send condolence
messages to a person who has agreed to make a condolence book.

The group that made Luke's book are Marine Moms from Texas. The book was
then mailed to me as I volunteered to deliver it since I am quite close by.

I woke up this morning and thought I would do a web search on Luke's name.
Just thinking to read some words of friends who might have known him.
What I came to was your blog journal post from Memorial Day.

I want to let you know that I am printing up the words and including them
in the book to his family. Along with your web site URL. Your words touched me,
and I know they will be even more touching to Luke's family.

From knowing several other military Gold Star Moms, the thing is that their kids
not be forgotten. You have honored Luke and his family with your post.
THANK YOU !!!!!!
Warm Regards,
Deb Estep
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