Sign in to follow this  

Scott Speicher - Rest in Peace (at last)

Recommended Posts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Navy pilot Scott Speicher, the long-missing first casualty of the first Gulf War, was finally laid to rest Friday in his adopted hometown as thousands of people lined the streets to watch a funeral procession pass his school, church and former military base.


Speicher was shot down in 1991 on the first night of the Gulf War. For more than 18 years, no one knew if he was killed or being held prisoner in Iraq until his remains were discovered in the desert, west of Baghdad, earlier this month.


"Eighteen years, six months and 11 days, that needs to be a record that is never broken," said Buddy Harris, a former Navy pilot and friend who accompanied Speicher's body home to Jacksonville from Dover, Del. Harris married Speicher's widow, Joanne, and helped raise Speicher's son and daughter, plus two more children with Joanne.


Motorcycles, their red and blue lights flashing, led Speicher's hearse and family following in a limousine along a 30-mile route of sites special to Speicher.


At a monument for war veterans where Speicher's name was engraved in 1995, military officials, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the Jacksonville mayor talked about his military service. Dozens of roses were placed against the wall, where an eternal flame burns. Later, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office fired a 21-gun salute.


The motorcade traveled to Lake Shore United Methodist Church, where Speicher taught Sunday School. It rolled past Nathan B. Forrest High School, where he excelled at swimming and tennis.


Hundreds of people, including veterans and infants, gathered at each of the locations, including the site of the former Cecil Field Naval Air Station where Speicher's squadron, the Sunliners, was based before he left on the USS Saratoga for the Gulf War.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this