The mother of a Marine killed in Iraq urged mourners Wednesday not to let their anger and sadness turn them against the U.S. fight in Iraq.
“Honor me in this way,” Kathy Dyer said during a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Dyer, 19, of the Cincinnati suburb of Evendale.
At the funeral at Tri-County Baptist Church, Kathy Dyer delivered what she believed would have been her son’s own message: “It has been with the greatest pride I have served ... fighting to preserve freedom.”
She said he would want mourners to continue supporting the troops in the war against terrorism.
Dyer and eight other Marines from Columbus-based Lima Company were among 14 killed Aug. 3 in the deadliest roadside bombing of U.S. troops in Iraq. The company is part of the Cleveland-based 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, which has been hit hard by attacks that have killed 16 members in recent weeks.
Dyer urged support for the troops in Iraq a day after the parents of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder II, another Ohio-based Marine killed in Iraq, urged Americans to voice their opposition to the war.
Camping out in Crawford
Later Wednesday, vigils were planned across the country in support of Cindy Sheehan, a slain soldier’s mother who has been camping outside President Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. She has promised to stay for his monthlong ranch visit unless he meets with her and other grieving families.
At Dyer’s funeral, about 1,000 mourners were told about the kindness and drive of the college-bound honor student who had a lifelong interest in the military. Relatives said he chose the Marines as a way to serve his country and challenge himself.
“He saw this as just another way to measure himself, another test,” said his father, John Dyer. “Chris didn’t want to be less than the best at anything.”
Janet Hertlein, whose son Michael grew up with Dyer, said Dyer loved the Marines.
“Chris and all those over there are fighting for all of us,” Hertlein said.