Austin Patriot Guard Riders › Forums › Completed Missions › SPC Noelle Pagliaro, 22, US Army, Austin, TX, 02 APR 2010 › Reply To: SPC Noelle Pagliaro, 22, US Army, Austin, TX, 02 APR 2010
Specialist Noelle Pagliaro (May 1987 – March 2010) was brought to her final resting place this afternoon in Austin. The Patriot Guard Riders were honored with a request to stand in honor of Noelle's service to her country.
We stood in formation on Good Friday, this symbol of man's greatest sacrifice, outside the funeral home as her family and guests arrived along with about 15 active duty soldiers, all come to say their good-byes to a woman much too young to be leaving this earth.
The afternoon traffic at one of the busiest intersections in Austin rumbled and hissed as the world went about its business, mostly unaware of the services being held just a few feet from the intersection of William Cannon and Highway 290, but we stood in a flag line as the funeral home filled and we waited for the last to arrive while the clouds gathered and huge raindrops began to fall.
We stood quietly while the service concluded and then we marched with flags to the graveside. Noelle's family sat under the swaying trees, mute with sorrow and loss while the impossibly young honor guard fired their weapons and blew Taps one last time for Noelle.
The family and friends paid their final respects to Noelle and we marched solemnly back to our motorcycles and furled our flags.
I suppose we mostly go about our lives oblivious to the pain and sorrow around us and I understand it. We lead busy lives and have our own concerns and no one can be expected to know the quiet desperation of those around us, but the next time you see a soldier, take a second to shake his or her hand and offer a thanks for their service. If you are a soldier or a veteran, thank you again for your service.
I caught one last glimpse of Noelle's family as I left the funeral home. They were still clearly at a loss for how to fit Noelle's death into their consciousness. I offered them one final wave and sent a final wish for Noelle to be at rest for all of eternity as I drove away under the clearing sky.
Welcome home soldier. Thank you for your service.