To the Citizens of Ketchikan
By Eric Woytek
February 08, 2006
I have known Steve Freeman, and his older brother Ernest for
almost 20 years. They lived together next door to me at Baylor
University. Ernest is my fraternity brother. Butch is our hero.
I wanted to provide an account
of one of the most moving experiences I have ever had;
Butch's funeral. I have never seen so many people celebrating
a life and mourning it's loss. Family, friends, fellow serviceman,
and pilots from all over the country were there. He was eulogized
beautifully for over an hour, hymns were sung, prayers lifted,
and a proclamation from the Mayor of Ketchikan read. Thank you.
When the funeral procession
stretched over two miles, I was heartened as an American when
I saw the hundreds of full sized flags lining the streets of
Huntsville. Every car and truck for the 18 mile journey pulled
to the side, people came out of stores, stopped on the
sidewalks, I saw a small boy salute, a reserve guard unit stood
at attention, they collectively honored him. This would have
made Butch smile that big infectious smile. I was proud, and
At the gravesite, we witnessed
a fly-by, 21 gun salute, and the presentation of the flag to
Steve's wife. We had a wake that lasted into the early morning
where we all wore t-shirts with his picture, told funny stories,
watched video clips, toasted him, and consoled each other.
I have a favor to ask. For
his children, we are all writing letters to let them know who
their Dad was as they get older, and want to know. It would mean
so much if anyone from Ketchikan could add anything that they
feel to share. You have already honored Butch greatly, and I
welcome any direct replies that I will get to the Freeman family.
Thank you in advance. Ketchikan
seems like another great American town like Huntsville.
Austin, TX - USA
About: Eric Woytek has been a friend of the Freemans for almost
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