ELKIN — There was silence, except for the occasional whimper and sniffle of one of the hundreds of people that lined Main Street Elkin Wednesday afternoon.
Most were moved, many were in tears as Capt. Mark Garner returned to his childhood hometown.
Garner, 30, was killed early last week when the humvee he was riding in ran over a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
People, many waving American flags, began steadily streaming into the downtown area shortly after 11 a.m. Garnerís procession, complete with dozen of motorcycles, police escorts and friends and family slowly rolled through Elkin around 1 p.m.
There was hardly a sound, except for the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” as the procession moved through town that was filled with yellow ribbons and broken hearts.
Many kids came out to show respect for the fallen soldier, including a day camp group that stood quietly beside a soldier standing at attention.
Garner’s procession was greeted by dozens of former soldiers.
“He’s my comrade, my brother, and I’m honored to ride with him home,” said Chaplain Frank Wooten, a former Marine and member of VFW Post 10346 from Yadkin County.
Visitation for the family will be held Friday at 6 p.m. at Elkin First Baptist Church.
Garner’s funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Elkin First Baptist Church.
“Captain Garner made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Scott Cauldle, member of VFW Post 10346 said. “This was just my way of showing my respect. To not have done so, would have been dishonorable.”