Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Adam Herold laid to rest

They came by the hundreds to St. Cecilia Cathedral, filling every pew and crowding the entrance.

They came to remember Adam Herold in the same church he visited as a child, next to the elementary school he attended.

He was remembered for his sacrifice and recalled as a "peacemaker."

"Oftentimes, when there is war, the soldiers sent to it are called peacemakers. It may seem like a contradiction, but making peace by subduing violence was indeed Adam's calling," the Rev. Michael Gutgsell said.

The 23-year-old Army specialist was killed in an explosion near Karbala, Iraq, on June 10.

Before his funeral Wednesday morning, dozens of Patriot Guard riders holding American flags stood at attention along the church's sidewalks. Mourners filed past them into the church as a bell solemnly rang every few seconds.

Inside, Herold's family members quietly walked to the front, many of them crying as a soft Latin hymn was heard throughout the church.

Herold died in a blast that killed two other soldiers, including Army Cpl. Llythaniele Fender, 21, a native of Onawa, Iowa.

Fender is to be buried in his hometown Thursday, following a funeral at Onawa's West Monona High School.

Hundreds of mourners followed Herold's family to Calvary Cemetery, standing in a wide semicircle around his flag-draped casket near a solitary evergreen. A dozen onlookers watched from Bergen Mercy Medical Center's parking garage, just across the street.

Herold was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal during the graveside service.

After a rifle salute and taps echoed through the cemetery, Herold's family slowly filed away, many stopping for a moment to cry and lie their heads on his casket.

Herold grew up in a neighborhood just south of the cathedral where he was remembered earlier in the day.

He was fond of playing in camouflage as a boy, leading his friends to call him "Rambo." But his parents said they were surprised when he decided to enlist in the Army.

He had attended Roncalli High School, earned his high school equivalency certificate and worked with the Job Corps. He thought the Army was the best way to pay for a college education, said his father, Lance Herold.

In Iraq, Adam Herold served with the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. The unit is based out of Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Survivors also include his mother, Debbie Herold, and brothers Andy and Kyle Herold, all of Omaha.

He was one of four Midlands soldiers to die in Iraq last week.

From the Omaha World Herald

Related Link:
Adam G. Herold dies 'of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device'