The last salute
Groups of people lined the streets Saturday as the funeral procession for Lance Corporal Joshua Taylor made its way from Marietta High School to Mound Cemetery in Marietta.
Taylor, 21, a 2010 graduate of Marietta High, died after an explosion at Nevada’s Hawthorne Army Depot during training exercises on March 18 that also took the lives of six other Marines.
While the public appearance was sparse outside of the high school auditorium where the funeral took place, a crowd gathered to say farewell to Taylor at the entrance of Mound Cemetery on Fifth Street. A number of people carrying flags stood along Davis Avenue to show their support for Taylor’s family and friends as the funeral procession moved between the school and his final resting place.
Taylor’s casket and the family were escorted from the funeral site to the cemetery by members of the Patriot Guard Riders.
Kevin Geisel, a Patriot Guard Ride Captain, said the riders were invited by Taylor’s family.
“We have about 100 riders,” he said. “I brought 50 flags of my own and I handed every one of them out. We care about our troops and we are here doing our patriotic part.”
Geisel said most the riders came from the Mid-Ohio Valley, along with others from out of town. He noted riders who came from Columbus to participate in Saturday’s service.
The group set up a flag line when the funeral departed the high school and reestablished the line for the arrival at the cemetery, he said.
Marietta resident Janet Payne said she came out Saturday to pay her respects.
“I’m out here to pay my respects to the family,” she said. “It’s respect and thanks.”
Kathy Shively, of Marietta, said she came out to support the family since she knew Taylor’s mother and grandparents.
“It’s the least I can do for a young man who died serving his country,” Shively said.
Taylor enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Marietta High School in 2010. He was a member of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C., and had served in deployments to Afghanistan and Kuwait.