Kettering, Ohio – Army Veteran With No Family Honored by Students at Funeral
Kettering, Ohio – US Army Veteran Larry Tracy, 78, had no known surviving family when he passed. His funeral Mass at Ascension Church was likely going to be small and quiet, with only a few of his military buddies in attendance. But a handful of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders stepped up to not only exercise their faith, but their honor of America’s military in the process.
Originally from Indiana, Larry Tracy served in Vietnam, Desert Storm, and later the National Guard. Forty years of the US military left him no time to start a family, according to WDTN. So when he passed away on September 21, his church family at Ascension Church stepped up to send him off with patriotic flare on October 3rd.
Ascension School principle Susan DiGiorgio wanted the moment to be a teaching one for her students to learn about something positive for America.
“For me, I felt in my heart we really needed to do something as a school community. As Catholics our faith teaches us to help “bury the dead” and as Americans we are called to honor those who have served our country. Here was a chance to weave the two together. I couldn’t let this opportunity to honor Mr. Tracy pass us by.” Susan DiGiorgio to Dayton Daily News
About 100 Junior High School students were given American flags by the Routsong Funeral home, and some students even participated in the Mass. They lined the street in honor of Larry Tracy’s life, holding the flags with reverence as the hearse passed by on its way to Dayton VA Cemetery. DiGiorgio hopes they will think about the sacrifices of our service members.
“You hear a lot in the news right now. Sometimes negative things about our country. This is a positive thing. This is what we do as Americans and this is what we want our kids to do. We want them to know this is country to be proud of. This is a man to celebrate his life and service to our country.” Susan DiGiorio
Featured photos: screenshots of Larry Tracy processional and personal photos via WDTN