MIDLOTHIAN (CBS 11 NEWS) – Thousands of people in Midlothian lined US 287 as Chris Kyle’s funeral procession started its route to Austin.
There were all kinds of people lined up: parents and children, friends and co-workers and solitary citizens.
They were all waiting for the moment the white hearse bearing Chris Kyle’s body passed by.
Maddie Saltzman of Mansfield was there with her 11 year old daughter.
“This is something very small that I can show in a way to honor him,” Saltzman said.
They stood in the cold and the rain for him; because, they say he stood for them.
“Love of country. Love of family. The willingness to lay down your life for others,” Staltzman said.
“Patriotism. American Spirit. Freedom,” said Steve Dueboay.
Dueboay is retired from the US Navy. He now works for the City of Midlothian.
He and more than 30 other city workers came to honor Kyle as his hearse passed by.
Tina Raz works for the City of Midlothian too and was in the Air Force as a Sergeant.
“We’re free because of what he did. Everybody’s free,” Raz said.
Laurie Guinn kept her hand over her heart through the entire procession.
“That’s why my hand was over my heart, you know? It’s for my country and to say thank you to him,” she said.
There were many flags, some held very high. In Waxahachie, fire fighters parked two engines on an overpass and hung a giant U-S flag between two extended ladders.
There were salutes and other signs. But there was only silence as the white hearse passed by.
“He was one of ours. He was Midlothian. A brother in arms. He was a Texas Legend,” Tina Raz said.
It hurts to say goodbye.
She said, “Texans are patriotic. When we lose one of our own it hurts the whole state.”
By noon, the body of the American hero arrived at the Texas State Cemetary in Austin for a final farewell.
Kyle’s family was escorted inside for a funeral full of the traditional military honors, including a 21 gun salute followed by a flyover of military jets.
Hundreds attended the private graveside service while hundreds more watched from outside the gates of cemetery.
Andy Crites, an Austin resident, showed up to watch the service. :He saved a lot of lives and (was) called upon to do a very difficult job,” said Crites of Kyle.
In one unscripted moment, more than 100 of Kyle’s fellow Navy SEALs paid tribute to the decorated sniper by placing their pins on his casket.
Kyle’s grave will be one of about 3400 in the same cemetery where former Texas governors and survivors of the Alamo are buried.
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