Winter Storm Watch issued for West Michigan for Sunday

Why complete strangers showed up to a local veteran’s funeral

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - When his friend, World War II Marine veteran Samuel Schwartz passed away last week, James Linton began scrambling.

With no family nearby, he feared his friend would be buried alone, a ceremony undeserving of a veteran, and a man like Sam.

"It haunted me that he wouldn't be remembered," said Linton. "I didn't want to see him just fade away."

Schwartz, 94, died last week, and on Sunday, Linton reached out to FOX17 News.

"I was hoping we'd have a dozen people," said Linton. But he got far more than that.

Very quickly, calls started to roll in. The VFW, American Legion, the Patriot Guard Riders and several branches of the military sent representatives out to Schwartz's burial at Graceland Cemetery on Wednesday. Even complete strangers who caught the story came to pay their respects.

"It's an answer to a prayer," said Linton, clutching a folded flag in honor of his friend after the burial. "A lot of people have Sams in their lives and I think this touched a lot of people."


Schwartz enlisted one year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  His wife was also a U.S. Marine veteran.  They were married for 60 years before she died in 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.