October 23, 2007
October 23, 2007
The View from Up Here
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Linda: Last week Liberty, Texas, the United States, said good-bye to a heroic son. We’d like to pause from our usual to offer comment from our perspective.
You probably heard Bill Buchanan declare reverently, "Marine Lance Corporal Jeremy Burris is home," as the motorcade crossed the line into the City of Liberty.
Along with hundreds, even thousands of others Mike and I took our places along the street, flags in hand, and watched with deep sorrow and respect as the motorcade carrying Jeremy's body and his family came in to town. After the procession passed us on Grand, we walked a couple of blocks up to the funeral home and witnessed the family's arrival, the salutes of the Patriot Guard Riders, Honor Guard, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Liberty Police Department, and many others. All watched silently, reverently as they removed the casket from the hearse and took it inside, Jeremy's family following.
Pastor Mike Glazener referred to the thousands of citizens, including ourselves, many who did not know Jeremy or his family, who came out to pay tribute to a hero, a son, a brother, proclaiming, "This is America! It's not what you see in Hollywood - no! THIS is America!"
Mike: While Jeremy loved his job as a United States Marine, his number one job was to live the true Character of Christ. “Jeremy had always wanted to be a Marine. When he was about eleven he wanted to fly a Harrier, but now that he drove a five-ton vehicle that was just fine - he loved what he was doing. But the versatility and impressiveness of a Harrier is no comparison now to being swept up in the arms of Jesus. And even if he'd flown a fighter jet, the thrill of landing on a carrier could never compare to the moment Jeremy's feet landed on the streets of gold in Heaven,” offered Jeremy’s father, Brent Burris.
Harriers and fighter jets are just plain cool. But how much more “cool” is where Jeremy is now! Thank you, Brent Burris, for those words.
Following the graveside service hundreds of people stood in line to give one more word of condolence and encouragement to Jeremy's brothers and sisters and to Mr. and Mrs. Burris. This was something the family could have kept private but they didn't. They chose instead to allow the entire community, and beyond, to come and grieve with them, to show support and appreciation for Jeremy's sacrifice. They could have demanded privacy, but they didn't. They knew how important this was to the community.
We have not met Jeremy but he was willing to give his life to defend our freedom. Deeply saddened, we are most certainly not alone in our gratitude for the opportunity to show appreciation and support for a family who sacrificed a son, to allow us to call him “ours”.
Mike and Linda can be reached at Texasavi8r@aol.com