Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Nice to see this public respect January 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:24 PM
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DO YOU LIVE in a community where motorists still pull to the side of the road out of respect for the dead and those in mourning?

I do.

Late this afternoon, as the Parker-Kohl Funeral Home hearse passed my house followed by a trail of vehicles with lights flashing, motorists driving along Willow Street, an arterial road through Faribault, pulled to the curb.

That would be drivers traveling in both directions.

In that moment, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for these folks who could have hurried along their way, but stopped instead.

Thank you. Today you make me especially proud of this community I call home.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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14 Responses to “Nice to see this public respect”

  1. Littlesundog Says:

    I do not remember this custom when I lived in Nebraska, but they do it here in Oklahoma. The most memorable funeral procession I witnessed was one where I was one of many – pulling our cars alongside the highway. But across the highway I noticed an old man who got out of a beat-up old pickup truck, and stood along the roadside, took off his cowboy hat (also showing wear) and nodded in respect to each vehicle in the procession. His look was kind and genuine. He left an impression on me that i’ll never forget.

  2. Thread crazy Says:

    Yes Audrey we do here in Texas. No matter where you are, cars on both sides of road pull over. I especially remember when the funeral procession of Chris Kyle (American Sniper) came down I35 from Dallas to Austin; people on BOTH sides of I35 stopped as the vehicles passed. That I had never seen before – traffic stopping on I35. Hubby and I stood on one of the bridges here in Salado, overlooking I35; there were people saluting the procession, people waving American flags, etc. Amazing to witness.

  3. Marilyn Says:

    Yes, it was done where I grew up in rural northern Indiana. But I’ve lived in a number of places since then and believe that the custom is very much dictated by the local scenario, the type of roads, the amount of traffic, and sometimes even the time of day. The last funeral I attended, the order of service told the mourners that they should meet at the cemetery at a certain time, rather than attempt to travel in procession. On a different note, I used the word ‘cortege’ recently and was amazed that my friends (about 10-13 ladies, all of us in our 60s & 70s plus 1 80-yr-old) didn’t know what the word meant!

  4. Beth Ann Says:

    Yes—I think that is one of the best things in the world. It shows respect and consideration for the family and the loved one. I do it and it is something that is done locally and in Ohio where I lived. I think it is the ultimate in respect, don’t you?

  5. cecilia Says:

    wonderful to see.. c

  6. Jackie Says:

    It’s heart warming to know that people have not forgotten to show respect in our busy and sometimes frantic days.

  7. Aaron Says:

    I’m not exactly sure why, but I ALWAYS have to pull off the road, and turn my radio completely OFF. I close my eyes and feel sorry for the people mourning the death of a loved one because I know how hard it is, and how much it sucks. Funerals are one of the hardest things to get through in life, that’s for sure! My heart goes out to anyone dealing with that kind of loss.


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