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Subject: "Our town is burying one of it's sons today...UPDATE." This topic is ARCHIVED.
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RonVWed Sep-24-03 08:41 AM
Member since Apr 25th 2002
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"Our town is burying one of it's sons today...UPDATE."
Edited on Thu Sep-25-03 05:51 AM by RonV


"Sitting to the right of his mother Inge and wearing his father’s medals and pins, 9-year-old Christopher Kimmerly, his bravery briefly giving way to emotion, observes as his father, Army Staff Sgt. Kevin C. Kimmerly, is laid to rest Wednesday afternoon at Bates Cemetery in Johnsburg."(GF Post Star)

From GF Post Star 9/25:

At the close of prayers, military officials awarded Inge Kimmerly her husband’s posthumous Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Decorated but dazed, she stared at the flag-draped coffin at the front of the room, which was overhung with a staff of streamers, each symbolizing a military victory.

None of the ribbons represented Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“That operation’s not over yet,” a military official explained.

Although formal ceremonies continued at the cemetery, there the North Country seemed to reclaim Kimmerly in its own ways. The early autumn trees were their own color guard, and a lone cricket chirped in concert with the bugle call. It perched, unnoticed, on a uniformed shoulder precisely its shade of green.

Hundreds of people gathered at the gravesite, their silence broken only by a five-rifle salute.

At the sound of the guns, Christopher Kimmerly began to sob.

In the end, it seemed that no one was totally prepared for an occasion like this. For all their crisp lines and clicking heels, the uniformed pallbearers stumbled as they lowered the casket to the ground.

After all, Staff Sgt. Kevin C. Kimmerly was a big man."

Staff Sgt. Kevin C. Kimmerly

As I am writing this, the funeral procession is going by our house on it's way to the cemetary about a mile down the road. I expect that soon we will be hearing the sounds of the 21 gun salute.

As we left North Creek a little while ago, the procession was lining up... bagpipes playing...

We couldn't bear to go to the funeral which was held across the street from where we stood for so many afternoons in the wind, rain, snow, and below zero temperature holding our signs and trying to tell them... We tried to tell them.

We went to the wake last night to pay our respects. My wife used to work with Kevin's mother at the local HeadStart, so it was something that we needed to do. She just left to walk up the hill to where Kevin will be laid to rest.

(I'm posting excerpts from the Glen Falls Post Star, which is subscription only. I'm also linking to the Albany Times Union story.)

From the Post Star

Sept. 17th:

An Army sergeant from North Creek was killed Monday when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Kevin C. Kimmerly, 31, died from injuries he sustained in the attack, which occurred while he was on patrol in Baghdad, the U.S. Defense Department said Tuesday.

Kimmerly's vehicle came under fire from guerrillas in the central part of the city, and he later died at a military support hospital, the Associated Press reported.

The Defense Department said it is still investigating the circumstances surrounding Kimmerly's death.

Kimmerly is the first soldier from the North Country to be killed in action since the war in Iraq began in March.



"The flag in front of Johnsburg Central School flew at half-staff Wednesday afternoon, paying a quiet tribute to local son killed in an ambush in Iraq.

A day after news broke that North Creek native Kevin Kimmerly had been killed in a guerrilla-style attack while on patrol in central Baghdad, many local residents were still coming to grips with the loss of a friend and neighbor in a conflict seemingly so far away.

Kimmerly, 31, was an Army staff sergeant.

The image of Kimmerly standing in the snow in front of a military vehicle is among the photographs of local servicemen and women on display in a room at the North Creek railway museum. On Wednesday, a small black ribbon was draped across the photo, signifying Kimmerly's death.

"It's very sad when it's close to home," Elaine McNally, a museum worker, said as she looked up at the wall that features Kimmerly's picture. "It really gets to you."

From his obituary:

"On Sept. 15, 2003, Staff Sergeant Kevin Christopher Kimmerly was killed in action in Baghdad, Iraq.

He was a highly decorated combat veteran whose awards and decorations included the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Meritorious Service Medal, which were awarded posthumously. Also awarded to him were: the Army Commendation Medal (2), the US Army Achievement Medal (6), The U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal (4), the NATO Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon (2), the U.S. Army Service Ribbon, the Air Assault Badge and the Driver & Mechanic Badge.

To those family and friends who knew him, Staff Sergeant Kimmerly was a true believer in “selfless service.” “Kevin always thought of others before himself,” says his wife. A loving husband and father, he “meant the world to his wife and son.”


And from today's paper (9/24):

"-- At Tuesday's wake for Army Staff Sgt. Kevin C. Kimmerly, who was killed two weeks ago in Baghdad, some mourners remembered his role in other wars.

"We used to play capture the flag," said Kevin Ordway, a friend of the soldier.

On one of the mountains overlooking the Tannery Pond Community Center, where calling hours were held Tuesday afternoon, enthusiastic battles were once waged by the boys of the tiny hamlet of North Creek. They ambushed each other, lurking behind pines or beneath piles of dead leaves.

"Your ammo was tennis balls," Ordway said, his eyes filling up. "If you got hit, you had to give up all your tennis balls."


"Standing in a somber receiving line in the basement of the community center, Kimmerly's family had little to say to the press.

"All of us are very grateful for the love and support that has been shown to us," said Brenda Ordway, Kevin's maternal aunt, who spoke on behalf of his wife, Inge, and 9-year-old son, Christopher, both of Baumholder, Germany, his mother, Linda Kimmerly of Hartford, and father, John Kimmerly Sr. of Chestertown.

But the photographs surrounding the flag-covered casket spoke for themselves. Some, like snapshots of Kimmerly with trophy fish and deer, suggested he was a true son of the North Country.

Others recalled his career as Johnsburg Central School's basketball powerhouse. Still others, his dozen years as a soldier stationed in Germany and serving in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, where he'd been since April.

There were baby pictures, too, of both Kimmerly and his son, who wore his father's dog tags to the wake."

From the Times Union, Sept. 17th:

" Kimmerly graduated in 1991 from Johnsburg Central, a small K-12 school in North Creek at which graduating classes are about 20 students. Kimmerly was a standout basketball player. As a senior, he broke a 33-year-old school record when he scored 37 points in a single game.

"He was a real down-to-earth guy -- there was never anything he wouldn't do for you," said Steve Studnicky, North Creek's volunteer fire chief.

"It's a small town, and the news has started spreading and the sadness with that," he added. "It really, for us, puts a face on Iraq. It's a little bit of a wake-up call for all of us to lose someone who went to Johnsburg Central School."

We tried to tell them. Sometimes just the two of us. Sometimes a dozen of us. Despite the upthrust middle fingers and the nasty comments yelled at us from passing cars. In North Creek, in Saratoga, in Washington DC... we tried. We talked to friends, politicians, co-workers, and family members. Some agreed with us. Some came to agree with us later. Some never did. But we tried.

We wrote, we called, we emailed. Now it has come home to the whole community. A small part of us wanted to return to the corner yesterday and scream and cry: "Why didn't you listen!??!?" ... "We could have stopped this before it happened!"... "You were lied to by Bush and his fellow criminals, do you see that now???" ... "Do you see... Do you hear us, yet?"

But we quietly paid our respects in front of that flag draped, flower covered coffin. We visited with friends. Talked about the upcoming birth of the town supervisor's (He is a very good friend of mine from way back.) first grandchild. And how the wheel of life keeps on turning. We looked over at the corner again, got in our car and came home.

I'm going to step outside for a bit. I'll probably be hearing the 21 guns off in the distance. And the bagpipes again. But I'm too far off to hear the weeping. Now I can't listen.


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Our town is burying one of it's sons today...UPDATE. [View all] , RonV, Wed Sep-24-03 08:41 AM
RE: Our town is burying one of it's sons today..., DemoJoe, Sep-24-03 01:08 PM, #1
to absent friends., KillerTomato, Sep-24-03 04:57 PM, #2
A confession: I've been ignoring your post today, dedalus, Sep-24-03 06:43 PM, #3
RE: Our town is burying one of it's sons today...UPDATE., Dmon, Sep-25-03 05:53 AM, #4
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