It’s been a busy couple of days at Cornerstone Church. Yesterday we had the visitation of a Bethalto Marine at our church. Today we hosted his funeral.
Lance Cpl. Kenneth Corzine gave his life in service of his country, defending our rights and our freedoms.
I’ve been struck by several groups of people the last couple of days.
- The Marines – I’m not familiar with military proceedings or the Marines in particular, but these guys know how to take care of their own. During the visitation, two Marines stood watch over the casket, taking shifts at regular intervals (watching them change guard was impressive). Then, after the visitation was done, several Marines remained in our building to stay with the deceased throughout the night. It’s inspiring to see the extent to which they honored him and the excellence with which they did it. These guys were top notch.
- The Bethalto Police and Fire Department – I have a great deal of respect for Police Chief Alan Winslow in particular. Through his leadership, he not only provided a great deal of support to the family and to our church, but he also helped to keep order in a potentially chaotic situation.
- The Bethalto Community – The people of Bethalto and the surrounding communities came out in force to encourage the family during their loss. People lined up and down both sides of Moreland Road to show their support. Many of them arrived hours early in the freezing cold and stayed all the way until the procession. I don’t believe I’ve every been more proud of any community that I’ve lived in. As I stood out in the cold along the road as the procession went by, I was filled with awe, respect and patriotism It was an incredibly moving experience that I won’t forget.
- The Church – I’m telling you, we have some of the greatest volunteers working at our church. From the guys in the parking lot, to our soundman, to the ladies helping in the kitchen, we have a wonderful group of people who love our community and willingly serve in whatever way possible. They passed out coffee to people along the road, shuttled people around town in our van and did whatever else they could to help.
Events like this give me hope. They remind me that love wins and that people from all sorts of different walks of life can rally in support of each other.
And that makes me proud. I’m proud to be an American, I’m proud to be from Bethalto (okay I have a Moro address…whatever!) and I’m proud of my church.