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North Vernon Sun - April 7, 1921


    Last Saturday, North Vernon was the scene of a never-to-be forgotten spectacle, in which all the American Legion and nearly all the population of this County took part.
    The occasion was the military funeral of Thomas Murphy, who died in France while in the service of his country. His death took place Nov. 1st, 1918 of pneumonia and his body with thousands of other heroes who died for their country was buried in France. Later the war department made arrangements with the French Government to move all bodies of American soldiers, who were killed in France, to this country, providing it was the wish of the deceased relatives. Of the number of boys from this county, who lost their lives while in the service, Thomas Murphy was the first to be brought home, and it was a fitting occasion to show, not only to him and his loved ones, but to all the boys who risked their lives in the fight for their country, that we, the people of this county, honor and hold them in the greatest respect. What greater sacrifice can man give than he lay down his life for his friends.     Monday March, 21st, Mrs. Murphy his mother, received a message from the War Department stating that her son's body had arrived in New York. Not until last Friday morning was the word received that the body would arrive on the noon train from Cincinnati, Ohio. For some reason it was carried by to Louisville, Ky., and was not returned to this city until late Friday evening.
    In the meantime however, the American Legion officers were busy notifying the different townships, and when the time for the funeral, which took place at 9 A.M. Saturday, there were hundreds of our returned soldier boys in uniform lined up to escort the body to the church.
    With a band of 15 pieces, a firing squad of 8 men and hundreds of Amreican Legion boys in rank led by former Lt. Roger Tripp, it was an inspiring sight, never to be forgotten as long as we live.
    The procesion led by the band, followed by the firing squad and the American Legion in the order named, marched to the church while the soldiers stood at attention and the corpse of one of their members, who had died for his country, was carried into the church
    After the ceremony at the church, they proceeded to the cemetery where the last rites of a military funeral, the firing of a salute of 8 guns and the blowing of the bugle sounding Taps for our friend, ended one of the saddest an at the same one of the most inspiring scenes ever enacted in the history of this country.
    An appropriate reminder of the occasion was a paper read at the grave by Commander, Walter Schierling, of the American Legion, a part of which follows:
    "It is glorious to die for one's country, for though the body mingles with the clods and the dust, the soul goes marching on. The price of liberty is the pain of sacrifice and the reward of sacrifice is the happiness of endless generation. Thrice blessed is he who smiles at fear when the destiny of free peoples hangs in the balance. Out of heroes and service comes the health of nations.
    Speach cannot utter the substance of what was done by the departed. It remains for us to take increased devotion from that which he died. It remains for us to weave the countless sould of the coming generations to the valient deeds of the honored dead, so that there may be guaranteed forever that lasting tenet of freedom's faith the fullest good for each is the betterment of all."     Thomas Murphy was born May 5th, 1898 and was the youngest child in a family of seven. He enlisted in the service of his country on October 3, 1917 in Co. M., 119 Infantry 30 Division and after a few months service at Camp Taylor, Ky., was transferred to Camp Sevier, North Carolins, then later to the embarking camp in New Jersey. May 13, 1918, he with his company sailed for France, but on arrival in that country, he acquired a case of pneumonia, and on Nov. 1, 1918 word was received of his death. The bereaved family have the sympathy of the entire community.

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