Friday, August 1, 2008


A friend and I drove to Rocky Mount, NC to attend the funeral of a mutual friend's father. (It was for him that I asked for prayers Monday; he passed away early morning July 30.) At the memorial service, there were tears and remembrances; he was much-beloved by family and friends. He was also a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Korean War, hence the U.S. flag that was draped over his coffin.

What really struck me, however, was the utter respect the residents of Rocky Mount have for each other. I was part of the funeral procession as we made our way slowly to the cemetery. All traffic stopped to let us pass through: on the major roads, all the cars had stopped; on the smaller roads, all the cars had pulled over to the side of the road and no one moved until the procession drove by. The one exception: the one SUV which had Virginia licence plates.

To be honest, I don't remember seeing anything like that before. Yes, I've seen funeral processions wind through town, but I've never seen traffic going the opposite way stop in the way I saw it in Rocky Mount. I thought it was a nice gesture, and told me of the respect those residents had for others.

Another thing ... well, unrelated, perhaps ... my friend was telling me about some YouTube videos of a mutual friend of ours who recently completed his Bachelor's degree from UNC Chapel Hill, and so I went there, searching for said videos. He was part of a wonderful male a cappella group called the UNC Clef Hangers, and whilst composing this post, I had their YouTube videos playing in the background. One of their pieces struck me as appropriate, given this post. The lads sung this piece at an impromptu prayer vigil on campus the evening the UNC community learnt of Student Body President Eve Carson's murder. I am embedding that video here as a tribute to those we've lost. I'm also thinking of Kent Otto, who was the long-time organist at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Durham, Dr. Billy Martin, who was a professor at the Medical College of Virginia, Dr. Fenner Douglass, who was an organist and professor at Duke University, Dr. J. Michael Walker, who was a professor at Indiana University, amongst others ...

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis.

UNC Clef Hangers performing Josh Groban/Dave Matthews "Lullabye" with soloist Ryan White, at their 2008 Spring Concert in Chapel Hill.

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