Today I was in Lakeway, TX and started back home midafternoon. There are two ways home, but on this day I selected the route that took me on the interstate. I thought I had selected the wrong way when the traffic was so heavy that we crawled.
Then, I noticed just a few people sitting in lawn chairs by the side of the road. Several were sitting under umbrellas and holding American flags. It seemed they were mostly retirement age citizens. As I went farther, I noticed there were more and more young people including a man who was standing with six children in the back of a pickup. Each child held an American flag.
As I got closer to Austin, the number of people beside the road changed from a few to more and finally to many. There were not only people beside the road, but also a myriad of trucks. There were big tow trucks, EMS trucks, sheriff’s vehicles and many others. Those trucks were all lined up as if to salute the front of the road and that’s when I understood. Today was the day that the body of the slain Austin Police officer, killed on the job, was processing through Austin toward San Angelo – going home. I was impressed by the number of officials that lined the route.
Approaching the road where the funeral procession would merge with the highway, it became apparent that it wasn’t just officials who had come to pay respect. Citizens of all ages lined the route. There were young mothers with their toddlers, heavily tattooed bikers, merchants and individuals in pickups, broken down vehicles and expensive cars. There appeared to be no cultural, racial, economic or age boundaries separating those who wanted to pay respect.
At the onset of my journey back to ranch, I was certain I had taken the wrong way home. Yet, by the end of my journey, having seen what pulls us together, I knew I had indeed taken the right way home.