Saturday, February 03, 2007

Nicholas Brown has services ahead of burial at Arlington

NEW CARLISLE — — There were two Nicholas Browns honored Saturday morning at the United Methodist Church.

The funeral was for Army Cpl. Nicholas Paul Brown, 24, a former Vandalia Butler student who was killed in Mosul, Iraq, on Jan. 22.

But much was also said about his son, Nicholas Paul Brown II, born eight days before his father died.

"We're videotaping this for you, little Nicholas, to show you when you're older," said the Rev. Jeff Burdsall, addressing both the camera and the infant in the arms of widow, Sara Brown. Cpl. Brown had visited his wife and new son just days before he died when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

"When Nicholas came back from leave, he showed me pictures of his new son, and his eyes would well up with tears," said Brig. Gen. Richard Ellis.

Ellis was at the part-civilian, part-military funeral Saturday to present Sara, 21, and Brown's parents, and two brothers — one a twin — with folded American flags and shadowboxes containing his awards and honors. Brown was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously. Brown was driving the lead vehicle of a convoy headed into a bad neighborhood, "in the most dangerous spot a soldier could be," Ellis said.

For that reason, his Army brothers "gave him the supreme compliment. They called him 'warrior,' " Ellis said. The title is used within the Army to show respect for good fighters who also demonstrate a strongly moral, human side.

While Ellis' address to the gathering refrained from the political, Burdsall attempted to justify Brown's death for those who questioned its purpose.

"Unfortunately this is one more sad gathering that has taken place across the nation during this war," Burdsall said. "But the purpose of this war, whether you agree with its politics or not, has been to prevent attacks on our soil. Nicholas' sacrifice served this purpose."

After the service, area residents braved icy winds to wave flags along the mile-long drive down Main Street toward the New Carlisle Cemetery.

There, Brown's body was placed near a headstone bearing his name for a service of full military honors, including a 21-gun salute.

Another memorial service will be held Feb. 21 at Fort Bliss, Texas, for Brown and four other soldiers, age 21 to 29, who were killed Jan. 15, said base spokeswoman Jean Offutt.

Brown was the fifth infantryman from his Fort Bliss unit to die in Iraq in a two-week period, she said. The infantrymen were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Bliss, according to the Defense Department.

On Tuesday, Brown's body will be transported to Arlington National Cemetery, where he'll be buried.

From the Daily News

Related Link:
Nicholas P. Brown dies of injuries from I.E.D.