An Alabama police officer has received praise nationwide, offering Americans from across the country a moving and teachable moment, when he braved a rainstorm in order to honor the memory of a 100-year-old veteran from World War II on the day of the latter’s funeral.
A video of Newman Brazier, an officer with the police department of Mount Vernon, Alabama, a small town 30 miles north of the city of Mobile, caught him standing attention in torrential rain at the funeral procession for Private First Class Robert Lee Serling.
Brazier stood in the downpour in his regular uniform rather than rain gear while Serling’s body was being taken to a cemetery to be laid to rest.
The police officer is a vet himself
Robert Lee Serling, who turned 100 years old in April, was buried in Spanish Fort, Alabama, by the 92nd Division of the Buffalo Soldiers.
Brazier’s standing attention was noticed by the mourners at Serling’s funeral and definitely made an impression on them.
One of them was Eddie Irby Jr., who is the president of the 92nd “Buffalo” Infantry Division, a black veterans’ group in Mobile.
The 92nd Buffalo Division was an all-black, racially segregated unit in World War I and World War II.
Irby noted how Brazier remained in the same position as the funeral procession was passing by.
He said the police officer’s move had an effect on the mourners and the veterans, just by the simple opportunity to “see someone doing that.”
In his words, Brazier’s respect and admiration are something to be marveled at.
We need more moments like this
The 92nd Buffalo soldiers plan to award officer Brazier with a certificate of appreciation.
“That’s what vets do,” Brazier, who himself is a military vet, told a news crew when interviewed.
He said that he felt it was important to acknowledge the 100-year-old World War II veteran.
The police officer said he worried that since Serling is from a small town such as Mount Vernon, he could have passed away and his death could have gone unnoticed.
Brazier says that his move, apart from paying respects, was supposed to let everybody in the area know that the remains of the World War II veteran were passing through, albeit for the last time.
Serling was among the not many African Americans who fought for the United States in World War II’s Pacific Theater.
Born in 1921, he passed away on June 5, 2021.
For his 100th birthday in April, his friends organized a birthday drive-by, according to Mount Vernon’s Pine Grove Baptist Church.
Back in 2015, Serling, who was a private first class, gave an interview that is available on YouTube.
He said that he joined the army in 1942, and served for 3 years, 8 months, and 2 days during World War II, and thank God for his long life and the opportunity to be interviewed and tell his story.