Saturday, October 04, 2008



Thousands turned out to pay their final respects and to say thank you to Captain Michael Medders as he was laid to rest on Friday.

Just before 10am hundreds of school children from St. Joseph School in Avon Lake stood quietly in front of St. Joseph Church, each holding a small American Flag, as the motorcade made its way from Busch Funeral Home to the church.

All eyes then turned to the Army Pall Bearers as in unison they stepped to the back of the hearse and carefully removed the casket – then carrying it into the church.

Police Officers and Firefighters standing at attention, more than a dozen Patriot Guard Riders – each holding a large American Flag and a Color Guard consisting of area Police and Fire Departments stood at attention as Captain Medders arrived and was carried into the church.

Inside the church it was standing room only as the 1,500 family and friends filled the seats. The service lasted just over 2 hours and was filled with moving eulogies from former classmates and Soldiers from Medders Unit. The eulogies brought both tears and laughter to those in attendance. The church service, which was attended by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and almost every Police & Fire Chief from throughout the county, was seen in Fort Hood, Texas and Iraq via satellite.

After the church service the motorcade began the 7-mile drive to St. Joseph Cemetery on Detroit Road in Avon. Making a left turn onto Route 83 from Electric Blvd. those in the motorcade were met with a sea of RED, WHITE & BLUE. More than 1,000 people, mostly students from Avon Lake High School and Middle School lined the street – in some cases 5 deep for several city blocks. The rumbling of the Police motorcycles and the sounds of people crying were all you could hear as the motorcade passed by.

All along the route residents stood by the road, some with Flags others with homemade signs thanking Captain Medders for his service and sacrifice – while other signs offered prayers to the Medders family. A giant American Flag hung from two Aerial Fire Trucks on Route 83 and Walker Road. Along the long route not only Police and Fire vehicles but also other city vehicles, including dump trucks, were blocking streets.

Once inside of the St. Joseph cemetery people gathered around two tents set up next to a large pond to hear the graveside service. The 21-gun salute and the live playing of Taps sent chills across those in attendance.

In the end of the service, Major General Scott West presented an American Flag to Michael & Lynn Medders. A moment later, another Flag that had also draped the Captain’s casket, was presented to Captain Medders fiancée, Stacey Hrvatin. The folded Flags also contained shell casings from the 21-gun salute.

After the service, as people began to leave, Chief Medders and his wife Lynn – along with Hrvatin, knelt down beside the casket one last time.

The best way to view this gallery – click the “SLIDESHOW” button on the top right corner of the photo page.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terry, Once again you did a great job.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

background music (amazing grace played by bagpipes) would of made this slideshow even better.

5:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Orbitz Coupons