Today was such an outpouring of love from so many people. From family members, my close friends, and total strangers. It was a bitterly cold day, so my family and I were extra-thankful for the Patriot Riders, firefighters, policemen and women, and kind individuals who lined Jefferson Ave. for Shane. As my mom, dad, and I drove behind the hearse carrying Shane, we were all a little misty-eyed.
"I can't believe all of these people are here who didn't even know Shane," my dad said.
"Well," I replied, at a slight loss for words, "We are all Americans. And even more than that, we are all human beings."
It's nice to be reminded of how willing people are to help if they are only asked or made aware of a situation. That's a large part of why I started this blog -- to make people aware of the situation that our soldiers face and provide them with the opportunity to help. Thank you to all who have donated. To those who do not but read my blog, I encourage you to consider donating to the fund we have set up for Shane's brothers who are still fighting in Afghanistan. Giving up a latte at Starbucks, drink with friends, or even some spare change will help to make a difference in a soldier's life. These men do not lead easy lives. They often go hours and hours without sleep, sleep on cots, do not have the opportunity to shower every day, and reminders from home are a luxury. So even a few dollars would help to go a long way.
Tomorrow is going to be a very long day. I was thankful that my mom, dad, and I were able to view Shane's body today and have some private time with him. I realized that the body in the casket is not my brother, and in an odd way I am also thankful for that.