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10/11/06 - Posted from the Daily Record newsroom
Members of the Whippany Park High School marching band bow their heads as the funeral procession for Marine Lance Cpl. Christopher Cosgrove III, a member of the Class of 2001 who was killed Oct. 1 in Iraq, passes by the school campus this morning.


Slain Marine remembered during funeral services

Whippany Park High School students pay respects as procession passes

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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.

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