Benson Turns Out to Lay Paratrooper to Rest With Tears, Salutes
Posted May 3, 2007 8:41 p.m. EDT
Updated May 3, 2007 8:48 p.m. EDT
Benson, N.C. — Staff Sgt. William C. Moore was laid to rest in his hometown Thursday, a week and three days after he and eight comrades from his 82nd Airborne Division unit died in the deadliest attack on Fort Bragg troops since Vietnam.
In Benson, far from Baghdad, people saluted the paratrooper as Moore’s funeral procession made its way down Main Street.
"This town came together like I never believed,” Mayor Jerry McLamb said after the funeral procession had passed down Main Street.
Moore, 27, known as Clint, was South Johnston High School class of ‘98. He was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when he died.
Mourners along the route included old and young, civilian and military. The cortege proceeded past the Junior ROTC members standing in salute, state Highway Patrol troopers with white gloves, past tears wiped from faces and tears shielded behind sunglasses.
McLamb had tears, too.
“It's a hard time. I'm proud of the town, proud of the man that went over there and gave his life,” the mayor said.
"Well, it was almost like a family member of our own,” Danny Wood said after the hearse passed him, his wife, Teresa, and their children.
"We wanted to show to our children what it means to show respect to our military,” Teresa Wood said.
"This is just important, that we honor these people that are giving their lives every day,” Linda Oliver said.
Moore had gone to Iraq in August. He was buried at Banner Chapel Church cemetery outside Benson.