The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 3, 2008

Soldier is honored

Enid this week was model for honoring fallen heroes

From the News & Eagle Editorial Board

Residents of Enid and the surrounding area came this past week to show their support for a fallen soldier. And they did it with grace and sympathy and respect.

No family should have to go through what the Hakes have gone through, or the Storeys went through two years ago, or any fallen soldier’s family has to go through. However, this reality of life can be made easier to bear when a community does the kinds of things Enid has done the last several days.

The show of patriotism and support for Staff Sgt. Chris Hake and his family by local residents was outstanding. When word got out about the Topeka, Kan., group planning to protest the funeral, local residents organized a counter demonstration to show support for the Hake family.

It was inspiring to see streets of Enid lined with U.S. flags and people saluting or with hands over their hearts. It was good to see schoolchildren paying their respects and learning a lesson about the sacrifices of freedom. It was emotional to see the look of appreciation on the faces of family members as they saw the tribute being paid to Hake.

Enid can stand as an example to the entire country about how to pay respect to and show support for a soldier’s family. It is important the community continue to support the Hake family and the Storey family. We know there will be more showings of support in May when Hake’s name is added to the Wall of Honor, a memorial at Woodring Regional Airport that honors Oklahoma service members who have died on duty.

Enid is a military community that understands the importance of showing support for those who are tasked with defending our freedom. No matter the people’s political views or views about the war, all stood together to pay tribute to this ultimate sacrifice and to show gratitude for military members and their families.