Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nicholas Steinbacher laid to rest

At about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the foothills fell silent in honor of fallen soldier Nick Steinbacher.

From Crippen Mortuary on Honolulu Avenue to St. James The Less Catholic Church on Dunsmore Avenue, crowds of people of all ages and from all walks of life lined the streets holding flags and standing in a solemn tribute to one of this area's own. They were there to witness the hearse carrying the young soldier to the church, where a funeral mass began at 3 p.m.

Steinbacher, 22, became the 300th Californian killed in Iraq when he suffered fatal wounds from an explosion during a night patrol. According to a spokeswoman at Fort Hood where he was based, Steinbacher was killed on Dec. 10 while serving in Baghdad after an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee vehicle.

Wednesday's tribute was pulled together quickly and was achieved by neighbors calling neighbors and mothers e-mailing other mothers to get the word out.

Evidence that Steinbacher's life and service to his country made an impact to the community could be seen in the faces of those who lined the streets.

"It just broke my heart. I mean I pray every day for these guys but to actually have one from your own community, even though we don't know the family, it just [feels] so minor to be here but it's respect for the country, and the young man and his family," said participant Cathleen Wortmann, as she clutched the American flag.

From Valley Sun

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