Lincoln High School Statesman

Matthew Shepard finally laid to rest at National Cathedral

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Charlie Turner, Staff Writer

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Twenty years ago in WY, Matthew Shepard was violently beat for being gay and left for dead in a field. Friday, Oct. 26, Judy and Dennis Shepard laid him to rest at the National Cathedral.

After over 20 years of living in fear that their son’s grave would be vandalized, the Shepards are finally able to put their mind at ease. Matthew Shepard was buried Friday, during a ceremony of prayer with thousands of mourners gathered.

“It’s so important that we now have a home for Matt,” said Dennis Shepard during the service. “A home that others can visit, a home that is safe from haters, a home that he loved dearly from his younger days in Sunday school and as an acolyte in the church back home.”

In 1998, when Matthew Shepard was 21, he was brought to a field by two men, robbed, beaten and then tied to a fence. He died six days later in a hospital after not waking up. His attackers were charged with kidnapping and murder. His parents have kept his ashes, fearing his grave would be decimated by opposers of the LGBT movement.

The service was very emotional. Thousands of people who grew up when the murder occurred or knew about it came to show their support. Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop at the Episcopal church, led the service. Robinson took time to reflect and appreciate the Shepard’s dedication to Matthew Shepard’s life, and the fact that they turned the horrendous event into something a little brighter.

“It’s a place where there’s an actual chance for others to sit and reflect about Matthew, and about themselves, and about their friends,” said Dennis Shepard.

Matthew Shepard is buried among other inspirational figures such as Helen Keller, Anne Sullivan and Woodrow Wilson. Before finishing the ceremony, Robinson told attendees he had three things to say to Matthew Shepard.

“Gently rest in this place. You are safe now,” said Robinson. “Oh yeah, and Matt, welcome home.”

 

Author
Charlie Turner, Staff Writer

Charlie Turner is a sophomore with a passion for the “Die Hard” movies, as well as the show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” While Turner is not busy, she...

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