Hundreds at memorial service for murdered doctor George Tiller – UPDATED

This morning’s memorial service for slain abortion doctor George Tiller was a peaceful celebration of his life, which culminated when his wife of nearly 45 years, Jeanne, stood alone on the altar and, in a strong clear soprano, sang “The Lord’s Prayer,” which she dedicated to “the love of my life.”

Many in the overflow crowd at College Hill United Methodist Church wept audibly as Tiller’s widow, willowy and elegant in a lace blouse and white linen skirt and clasping a white hankie, hit several impossibly high notes. Sunday, when Tiller was shot in the vestibule of their Lutheran church, she had been preparing to sing in the choir. Tiller’s closed casket was draped in white cloth…

On the altar, a photograph of a smiling Tiller was displayed next to a large wreath with the words “Trust Women,” a favorite Tiller saying. His love of axioms and aphorisms was a leit motif of the service, during which he was eulogized by a friend of 50 years and his four adult children, two of whom are physicians. To them, and to his 10 grandchildren, he was known as “Papa.”

“Today, I will not go into any of the current political and media frenzy that we are all experiencing and living this moment, but I will say this: George’s constant challenges over these last decades have been exemplary of his brave, courageous, passionate and dedicated attitude . . . which the common man can’t even comprehend,” said Larry Borcherding, his friend of 50 years and a fraternity brother of Tiller’s at the University of Kansas…

Although security was tight at the 90-minute service, with uniformed and plainclothes law enforcement officers in abundance, the hundreds who had gathered to honor Tiller entered the sanctuary freely, and police reported no disruptive incidents. Warren Hern, one of the only other physicians in the country who provide late-term abortions, served as a pallbearer. He is under the protection of federal marshals

Fifty or more motorcycles were parked next to the church, owned by members of the Patriot Guard, war veterans who had come to honor Tiller, a Navy veteran and former flight surgeon who trained as a young doctor at Camp Pendleton.

Sure is special living in a free country. If we could only get religious nutballs to understand the part about separation of church and state. And maybe freedom of choice.

UPDATE: The religious fanatic who killed Dr. Miller has been found Guilty. May he live a very long time in his cell.

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