Memorial service held at Cowboys Stadium for former Navy SEAL
ARLINGTON, Texas — About 7,000 attended a memorial service Monday at Cowboys Stadium for Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL sniper who was slain last week near Glen Rose.
At about 11:30 a.m., parking lots filled up quickly for the 1 p.m. service at the 80,000-seat stadium.
“I stand before you a broken woman,” Kyle’s wife, Taya, tearfully told the crowd. “Chris Kyle was ‘all in’ no matter what he did in life.”
After revealing her flaws to her husband, Taya Kyle said Chris told her: “You’re a package deal. I love you. All of you.”
Taya Kyle addresses the audience at the funeral of her husband, Chris Kyle, at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. Kyle was a highly decorated former Navy SEAL sniper who was shot and killed at a shooting range last week. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)
At the beginning of the service, the crowd entered slowly into the stadium with the hymn ”Mansions of the Lord” playing on the P.A. system and images of Chris Kyle on the jumbo screen.
Serenaded by Scottish bagpipes, the casket carrying Kyle was placed on the blue star on the 50-yard line. A photo montage showed moments of Kyle’s life from his childhood through adulthood.
Dozens of Navy SEALS, past and present, stood as the SEAL creed was read at the memorial.
One-by-one, boyhood friends and fellow military members paid tribute to Kyle.
“At home, he wasn’t Superman. He was just a dad,” one of Kyle’s high school friends said. Some of the speakers were not identified in the program.
At the close of the service, country star Randy Travis sang “Whisper My Name” then led the crowd in a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
No politicians spoke at the service, however, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin posted on her Facebook page that she and her husband, Todd, were planning to attend the memorial. “I find it sad to see that flags aren’t flying at half staff for this American hero,” Palin wrote on the page.
Kyle, co-author of the book “American Sniper,” will be buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin on Tuesday. The Patriot Guard Riders have announced that they will escort the hearse from Arlington to Austin.
Nancy Clayton, office manager of Midlothian Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements, said Kyle’s family will have a private funeral separate from the public memorial service.
Kyle, 38, and friend Chad Littlefield, 35, both of Midlothian, Texas, were shot to death Saturday at the Rough Creek Lodge near Glen Rose, Texas.