Posted by Curt on 1 August, 2005 at 12:00 am. 1 comment.


Matthew from Froggy Ruminations writes about his recent experience during the funeral of Navy SEAL James E. Suh:

Today I had the privilege to attend the funeral of Petty Officer James E. Suh at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills. As I entered the gates of Forest Lawn, the LA City Fire Department had positioned a Ladder Truck on either side of the entrance in order to hang a giant American Flag from beneath the crossed ladders.

When James arrived at LAX from the East Coast two weeks ago, he was greeted by the LAX Police Honor Guard who carefully placed him in the waiting hearse. A SEAL Reservist member of the LAXPD arranged this honor for James, and he told me that the entire airport terminal basically shut down for an hour while James was reunited with his family. Waiting passengers pressed their faces against the glass and baggage handlers removed their hats and stood in silence as this hero was transferred from the aircraft. The LASO and LAPD SWAT Teams personally escorted the fallen SEAL to the Forest Lawn Mortuary where he was prepared for burial. LAPD and LAFD officers were well represented at the funeral itself, and counted at least three Assistant Chiefs of Police in attendance.

The Navy laid on an aircraft for SDV Team ONE members to attend, and at least 50 Team members made the trip. The Chapel services were very intimate, and it became immediately apparent that James had a large and very loving family. James was eulogized by a SEAL Chief, a Petty Officer from SDVT 1, and his sister Claudia. Claudia demonstrated great courage and warmth as she recounted her childhood with James and their father. She recalled the moment when as a big sister she realized her little brother was no longer subject to her physical domination. She remembered finding herself pinned to the floor with a large string of spit dangling from a mischievous grin on James? face. The Chapel services concluded with a stirring photographic montage set to a beautiful hymn. The pictorial tribute showed how many lives James had touched, and in his powerful gaze were a quiet confidence and a charming wry smile.

This was the first funeral with full military honors that I have ever had the privilege to attend. The gravesite was flanked on each side by the family and members of the LAPD and LAFD. At James? head was the Navy Honor Guard and at his feet SDV Team ONE.Everyone in uniform saluted as James? flag draped coffin was carried by six of his comrades to the grave led by Admiral Maguire and the Chaplain. The Honor Guard flawlessly performed three volleys of seven rounds from their M-14s as two LAPD helicopters flew overhead informing everyone within earshot that a hero was being laid to rest nearby and to take heed.

I am so glad that my law enforcement community helped with the proper buriel of this hero. God Speed James.


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