CLEVELAND — More than 200 friends and family members crammed into a large church on West 65th Street for one last chance to remember Army Sgt. Bruce Horner, who was killed by a sniper’s bullet June 1 in Iraq while searching for three missing soldiers.
Horner, 43, of Lorain, was buried last week in Newport News, Va., where he had moved from Lorain.
As the crowd slowly entered St. Colman Church, Horner’s father, Ed, took a moment to plead for the end to bloodshed in Iraq and to remember his son.
“I am hoping there will be enough of us eventually to stop the slaughter in Iraq,” Horner said as he hugged one of his granddaughters. “You figure for every American soldier that is killed, another 25 to 30 Iraqis are killed, and it has to stop … my son had a lot more life to give, and we miss him.”
Inside the church, relatives including Horner’s brother, Pastor Doug Horner of St. Paul’s Community Church in Cleveland, delivered the message that everyone needs to carry on and continue with life.
“Bruce was the person who could quickly start up conversations with anyone and anywhere. He was someone who constantly reached out to others,” the Rev. Horner said. “I can imagine him in Iraq doing his best to be of service to anyone he came across.”
The Rev. Horner and several other family members also took time during the service to remember a man they said was outgoing, friendly and fantastic to be around.
During the service, Cleveland City Councilmen Joe Cimperman and Jay Westbrook delivered a copy of a resolution passed by the Council honoring Horner to his family.
As the service came to a close, a bagpiper led the crowd out to the tune of “Amazing Grace,” but many in attendance chose to remain in the church for almost a half hour to reminisce.
When Ed Horner was asked by a friend how the family was doing, he answered quickly and briefly:
“We are doing,” he said. “We are tough.”
Contact Joe Medici at 329-7152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARMY SGT. BRUCE HORNER
Killed: June 1, by a sniper while searching for three missing U.S. soldiers
CARL SULLENBERGER / CHRONICLE
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders pay tribute Sunday to Army Sgt. Bruce Horner, a Lorain native shot and killed June 1 in Iraq.