The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 12, 2013

1,000s honor ex-Navy SEAL Kyle at Cowboys Stadium



ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Surrounded by her husband's military friends, one who offered a glove to wipe away her tears, Taya Kyle stood in front of the flag-draped coffin, her voice trembling as she described to a crowd of thousands what ex-Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle meant to his family, friends and country.

"Chris, there isn't enough time to tell you everything you mean to me and everything you taught me," his widow said Monday at Cowboys Stadium during a two-hour memorial service for her husband, a decorated sniper and best-selling author who was slain earlier this month at a gun range in North Texas.

Kyle's funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday. He will be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin after a 200-mile funeral procession starting in the Dallas area. Drivers along Interstate 35 will not be allowed to pass the procession, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Nearly 7,000 people, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, attended the service Monday. Dozens of military personnel and others were seated in front of the podium near the Dallas Cowboys' star at midfield, where Kyle's coffin was placed.

Taya Kyle described herself as broken but said the family will "put one foot in front of the other" to get through their grief. She told her two children that they will remember Kyle's silly side, Texas twang and prayers they prayed together.

After her eulogy, country singer Randy Travis sang "Whisper My Name," which he said Taya Kyle had told him was a meaningful song for the couple, and "Amazing Grace." At the conclusion of the service, bagpipers played as military personnel carried out the coffin and many in the crowd saluted.

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