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July 25, 2005

Politician crashes Marine's funeral

Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, 32, a second-generation Marine, was killed in Iraq two weeks ago during a mortar attack. His funeral was held last Tuesday at a crowded St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Carnegie, Pennsylvania. According to Rhonda Goodrich, Sgt. Goodrich's sister-in-law, the church was full of those "who wanted to tell his family how Joe had impacted their lives."

But an uninvited guest showed up, Catherine Baker Knoll. Lt. Gov. Knoll not only attended, uninvited, but sat in the section reserved for Goodrich family members. During the distribution of communion, one of Sgt. Goodrich's family, not recognizing the Lt/Governor, leaned over and asked, "Who are you?" To the shock and surprise of the family, the politician gave them her business card, and said, “I want you to know our government is against this war.”

Needless to say the Goodrich family is furious.

“Our family deserves an apology,“ Rhonda Goodrich says. “Here you have a soldier who was killed – dying for his country – in a church full of grieving family members and she shows up uninvited. It made a mockery of Joey's death.”

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Added Patricia Goodrich of the South Side, the slain soldier's mother: "When my sister-in-law related that to us (after the service), everyone just gasped. We didn't feel it was appropriate at all."

Knoll spokesman Sean Pendrak would not comment specifically on the Goodrich family's allegations.

"Obviously, the lieutenant governor extends her most sincere condolences to all families who have lost loved ones in the fighting," Pendrak said. "She also wants to convey her support of all of our fine young men and women in uniform."

That support means little to Rhonda Goodrich, who believes Knoll was more interested in jump-starting next year's re-election bid than offering genuine sympathy to mourners.

"She never said to anyone, 'If there's anything I can do to help, just call my office,' " Goodrich said. "It seems like she's going to funerals and using business cards as campaign fliers."

Rhonda Goodrich remains angry, but she is grateful for one thing.

"I'm glad she didn't sit down next to me and say those things," Goodrich said. "I would have smacked her on the spot."

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell send an apology as soon as he heard, and tried to defend the Lt. Governors actions, but so far Knoll has been “traveling” and unavailable for an explanation to the press, the governor or even her own staff.

Other media coverage: WorldNetDaily, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Bog coverage: Michelle Malkin (and here), BlackFive, HyScience, IndePundit, Myopic Zeal, GM's Corner, Iowa Voice

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 25, 2005 08:54 AM

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» Gov. Rendell, Pa., to apologise for Lt. Gov. Knoll from Mark in Mexico
I'm going to talk to her. I think she should send a letter to the family, clarifying (her intentions). [Read More]

Tracked on July 25, 2005 03:35 PM

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