A few minutes before the motorcade arrived at the Texas State Cemetery, the overcast that hung over Austin for much of Tuesday morning cleared away leaving behind a bright blue sky. But the change in weather could not change the sadness of the day.
The sound of a drum and pipe corps echoed through the Texas State Cemetery Tuesday afternoon. Moments earlier, hand in hand, the wife of Chris Kyle and his children were escorted to his grave site. The service was limited to close friends, family and dignitaries. But many others showed up, like Pat Nance, who brought a flag and his 9-year-old grandson.
"I wanted him to see a Texas hero. Kyle is a real Texas hero. We're proud of him," said Nance.
An honor guard carried Kyle's flag-draped casket to the grave site, which is located near a flowing creek.
A military rifle salute broke a brief silence, along with a flyover by two fighter jets. Those close to the retired navy sniper and noted author held on to each other as the service continued under a canopy of trees that showed signs of an early spring.
Kyle joins several Texas legends here at the state cemetery. Notables like pioneer Steven F. Austin, political giant Barbara Jordan, and just a few feet away from his grave site, is the final resting place for Darrell K. Royal. A special committee approved the application to have the burial take place in the crowded cemetery. But veterans like Sabino Rubio say the decision isn't troubling.
"We are all brothers, and we all stick together, and we all represent each other," said Rubio.
For the retired Army Captain Chris Kyle's grave is like a memorial to all who have served. The top of Kyle's casket was covered in gold insignia pins. They were put there as a tribute by Navy SEALS who were at the graveside service. The service closed as it began. First Lady Anita Perry presented Kyle's wife the flag that had draped his casket. And as the silence that usually drapes this place slowly returned, some close friends found it difficult to leave.