Well, not really a coda. Matt Maupin really came home four years ago to pull this town together in a way politicians and athletes couldn’t figure out if you put it up in large letters on the Fountain Square video screen.
Just over two weeks ago, I posted my outrage that the Westboro lot were coming to town to protest at Matt’s funeral. It was the most viewed and most commented post on this blog. One of the points I drove home was, “This is about Matt and about pulling a community together.”
If you read the comments section, that point was driven home. And there was nothing – absolutely nothing – anyone could do to take away from that. The route from Lunken Airfield, the municipal airport on CIncinnati’s east side, up Route 32 to the Union Township Civic Center was lined with yellow ribbons all last week. The Westboro lot were kept 500 feet away from the procession, their view blocked by bikers sporting huge American flags. But the bikers weren’t there just to drown out the people who wanted to ruin the event. Some of them rode with the family from Eastgate to Great American Ballpark for a military funeral attended by some 4000 people and shown on most local television stations. Most of these people never met Matt Maupin, but they came anyway.
The bikers also escorted the family to the cemetery, closing it off to the public so they could have a private burial.
It was all about a staff sergeant who served his country in life and pulled a city together in death.
Sgt. Maupin, we never met, but I miss the hell out of you already.