Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tribute to A Fallen Warrior

For the first time since Vietnam the people of Hastings, Pennsylvania have had to bury one of their own. Sgt. Derek Shanfield, USMC, lost his life in Afghanistan on 8 June 2010. This week's blog is a pictorial essay of his funeral which was held on Friday, 12 June 2010. I've tried to use photographs that allow me to tell the tale as completely as I could but also allow for the Marines' family, as well as the community itself, to grieve in private.

It's 7 o'clock in the morning and members of the Hastings VFW Post were already out preparing the town for the day's solemn events.

The Hastings Memorial Building is the only place in town that was large enough to seat the hundreds of people expected to attend the service.

At 8 o'clock Friday morning a final funeral briefing was held in the Hastings Volunteer Fire Department Hall. Volunteer firemen from around the area as well as EMS crews and several different police departments were there to lend a hand in the coordination of logistics to implement the borough's emergency operation plan for the day.

Patriot Guard Riders

Before anyone visited the Memorial Building to pay their respects, I shot this photograph of the viewing area.

Official Marine Corps Funeral Wreath


Retired Duo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*♥* Heather *♥* said...


knitbysue said...

What a touching tribute. I hope your photographs bring some comfort to the family.

Anonymous said...

I was at the service. You captured it beautifully.

Anonymous said...

For those who knew, but could not attend the service - Thank you for sharing. Your efforts depict the never-ending gratitude and sympathy a small town shares for its fallen hero.

Anonymous said...

I was unable to attend the service and really appreciate your photographs. Such a moving tribute, beautifully done.

Anonymous said...

What an emotional tribute to this wonderful man. Thank you for capturing it so beautifully.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute, the pictures are just priceless. I'm sure the family will treasure these forever. You are honored and remembered Sgt. Derek Shanfield.
Sharon & Roger Kritzer
Parents of PFC Bradley Kritzer
KIA Baghdad Iraq, May 5, 2004

Helen Grillo said...

these pictures are beautiful,Im sure the family will treasure them. Derek is not only my Hero, he is a Hero to a vast majority of people. He will certainly never be forgotten. You are my Hero Derek.

Clark Creery said...

This is what freedom is all about. Greg I honor you as a photographer, a marine and a wonderful person showing the world what the cost of freedom can entail. My personal condolences go out to all of the family and friends.

Clark Creery
Melbourne, Florida

Anonymous said...

Hello Doll, located your album here after our exchange on the steps at the Church Feb 22 2011.
I will coment on that day when appropriate.
Here your photographic talent reflects the Temperment of the Shadow cast over this Day, Celebrating the Life of Marine Sgt Derck Shanfield and His Sacrifice for the Freedoms we all share each and every day.
Only those hundreds of participants in attendance who stood for several hours to Honor this Fallen American Hero, will ever know the physical demand the Citizens of Hastings endured on this summer afternoon. If there is a good day for a funeral, this certainly would have been one of them. Summertime in mountainous Pennsylvania in full foliage.
Semper Fidelis Brother, Jack USMC 66-69, Patriot Guard 2008-.
PS You did get me taking off my leather jacket before we assembled the Flag Line.