August 5th, 2017 United States Marine Captain Ben Cross lost his life in an unfortunate helicopter crash off the coast of Australia. Cross was a 26 year old Maine native and one of three Marines who lost their life that day. Last night, he came home to be laid to rest in a honorable way.
As Andrew and I were driving down main street from his mother’s house we saw the sidewalks were filled with people. It was 8pm on a Thursday night so it seemed a little odd. They all had flags and lights, waiting patiently. Andrew and I pulled over to see what all the commotion was about. I messaged my friend and she informed me that Ben Cross was finally back in Maine and the whole state has adorned the path to show their respects. Now Ben grew up in the neighboring town, graduating from the High School in the next county. His way home was right through our hometown. Andrew and I decided to stay and show our respects as well.
Now let me just say I was not raised in a large military family, and have never actually seen a procession such as this. However, I am so glad I witnessed what happened last night. The streets were filled with people chatting and waiting, until the blue lights started coming down the road. Our community fell silent as police cars, emergency vehicles, a limo, veteran motorcyclists, local business vehicles and of course Captain Cross’ hearse drove down the street. One driver yelled out his window simply saying “thank you” as spectators waved flags. You could feel the sorrow and the honor in the air, it was absolutely breathtaking.
It made me remember how beautiful my community and my state really is. That with all the negativity going on in our worlds today, for one night we all bowed our heads in silence to honor a man who lost his life for us. For one single moment there was not negativity or individuals, there was just unity. And I am grateful I got to witness the magic.