On the Harley, kick stand up 10:30 AM off to Santa Rosa Airport to meet up with bikers from the North Bay. To honor a true American hero
Army Ranger Christopher Gathercole. His American flag draped over his casket, arrived in Santa Rosa with full military honor’s at 1:00 PM.
The motor escort team along with Santa Rosa PD, CHP. Sonoma County Sheriff Dept and just about every fire truck in Sonoma county.
As we departed the airport due east for some 8 miles, both sides of the street were lined with thousands and thousands of people with flags in one hand and the other hand over their heart or standing and saluting. I saw one old man had to be 80 years old, he was all bent over from a long life but his head was up his flag in hand and a salute as best he could. Each intersection we rolled though was blocked off… All traffic at a stand still. Cars were stopped on each side of the road. Everything was at a stand still as the hearst and escort team came down the street. At one point I looked downed the street and towering over head were two ladders from two fire trucks parked on each side of the street with thier ladders crossing into an arch over the street. I saw a young girl about 10 years old standing on a corner by herself holding up a flag that was twice as big as she was. You could hear the Harleys for miles as we rolled on. Thousands came out to see a true American hero… I did not know the young man nor his dad. I did get a chance to shake the father’s hand. This young man will never come his father. But this father will go to his son some day… A town that came out to welcome home a true American hero for the last time.
Army Ranger Christopher Gathercole called his grandmother in Santa Rosa from Afghanistan on Mother’s Day. “He told me how much he loved me,” Maryanne Haines said. “I never thought it would be for the last time.” Two weeks later, on Memorial Day, Gathercole, 21, a sturdy, blue-eyed blond who made friends easily but endured a rough childhood, became the North Coast’s 11th casualty from the wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq. Gathercole, an airborne commando whose job was hunting down insurgents in Afghanistan, died of wounds from small-arms fire during combat operations in Ghazni. “I’m reeling from everything,” said Jennifer Daly, 28, of Santa Rosa, describing her brother as “a bright and shining person.”
“I was really looking forward to what life had for us going forward,” Daly said.
"“He never looked back,” May said. “He did what he wanted to do.”
This is a link of some video taken today.
I will post more next week after the funeral on Sunday.