HANOVER -- Whippany Park High School students stood
vigil outside the school today to pay their respects to 23-year-old
Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Cosgrove III.
Cosgrove's funeral procession passed by the school, where members
of the football team, cheerleaders, band members and representatives
of student government stood quietly, many holding flags. Some
students dressed all in black while others -- such as members of the
football team -- wore their uniforms.
The Morris County freeholders donated 1,500 flags to Hanover for
use during the procession. Some town and county roads were closed
briefly to allow the procession to pass.
The funeral procession arrived at St. Vincent Martyr Church in
Madison at 11 a.m. A limousine carrying members of Cosgrove's family
filed into the church a short time later, followed by a U.S. Marine
Corps honor guard.
Cosgrove was killed in a suicide car bombing while manning a
checkpoint in Iraq on Oct. 1. He graduated from Whippany Park High
School in 2001. He was the first member of the military from Hanover
to die in combat since the Vietnam War.
About 500 feet from the church, Madison police had marked a small
area for members of the Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church
to arrive for a planned protest. The church has picketed military
funerals around the U.S., claiming that God killed American
servicemen and -women to punish the U.S. for its tolerance of gays.
As of 11 a.m., no protesters had arrived at the funeral.
For more on this story, see tomorrow's Daily Record.