Families in Utah and New York buried sons yesterday, mourning two of the 11 Marines killed Jan. 29 in the first ground action of the Persian Gulf War.
"The death of this fine young man has touched us all," the Rev. Rudolph A. Daz told more than 1,000 people at the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Dion J. Stephenson, 22, in the suburban Salt Lake City community of Bountiful.
"We come to honor him for the gift he gave to his family and us. . . . he died for the people of Kuwait," he said.
Marine Corps Commandant Alfred M. Gray, Corps Sgt. Maj. David W. Sommers and Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) were among those attending a two-hour funeral Mass for Stephenson at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine.
Bells tolled as six Marine pallbearers escorted the shroud-covered casket to the front of the congregation.
Outside, American flags ringed the cathedral as 17 police, sheriff and highway patrol motorcycles waiting to escort the procession to the Bountiful City Cemetery north of Salt Lake.
In Kenmore, N.Y., Lance Cpl. David T. Snyder, 21, was eulogized as a man who upheld the traditions of his service.
"The Marines have a faithful statement, Semper Fidelis: always faithful," Navy chaplain David Brown told mourners.
"David has proven that model to be true and joins the ranks of others who have gone before him to preserve and protect the rights of other people," Brown said.
About 100 people attended the service at St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church in the Buffalo suburb where Snyder grew up.