Army Staff Sgt. Dale Panchott of Northome, Minnesota was killed on November 17 while on patrol in Balad, Iraq. Today his funeral was held in the high school gym where he excelled as a student athlete. A third generation soldier, he fulfilled his ambition to serve as his grandfather and father had. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, pictured below standing before the flag-draped casket, spoke at the funeral, offering words that certainly express our feelings.
The Star Tribune account of the funeral quotes Governor Pawlenty: “‘I don’t know how this could be any sadder. We sit here and think of the many things Dale will never get to do. We think of all the dreams he had and that his family had for him.’ Pawlenty cited an adage that says, ‘if the dead could speak, there would be no more war.’ However, the governor said he disagreed with that concept. ‘If the dead could speak, they would tell us there are some things worth fighting for and some things worth dying for,’ he said.” RIP.
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