Cpl. Bishop brought home for final goodbye

Wanda English Burnett

Time stood still as the aircraft carrying the body of slain Cpl. John C. Bishop taxied down the runway at the airport at North Vernon Monday morning.

The solemn reverence paid to the local hero was felt as marine brothers lifted the flag draped casket from the plane and then through the crowd of family and friends gathered at the end of the runway.

Patriot Guard Riders led the procession from the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles Monday morning to take the family to North Vernon where they would receive their hero.

Somber homage was paid as uniformed marines and police stood at attention as the fallen marine was wheeled into a hangar at the airport where the family had a brief moment.

Then a procession led by police began to make its way for the final journey to bring a local hero home to Versailles where he will be laid to rest on Thursday of this week.
The procession was approximately two miles long complete with Patriot Guard Riders behind the family. Jennings County Sheriff’s deputies along with North Vernon City Police were part of the group escorting the marine from Jennings to Ripley County.

Along the route in the town of North Vernon the streets were lined with people waving flags, holding their hands over their hearts, and hats in their hands.

As the procession slowly moved east on US 50, the highway was lined with people waving flags and displaying signs to welcome home Cpl. Bishop.

Fire departments in both Jennings and Ripley counties turned out with trucks and firemen who stood with their hands folded over their hearts. Businesses in both counties closed their doors and employees stood at attention as the procession moved through.

People were out of their houses sitting or standing on porches watching an American hero being brought home.

School children from Brush Creek Elementary lined US 50 flanked by soldiers in full uniform as the procession passed by. Students from the Southeastern Career Center lined the highway in Versailles with sobs being heard as the family passed through with their loved one.

Versailles fire and police departments turned out in full force with help from area police departments. Sheriff Tom Grills led through town along with motorcycle policemen from the Indiana State Police. It was a group effort on many departments, agencies, and businesses to make sure Cpl. Bishop was brought home in the fashion he is so deserving of.

A private service was held for the family at Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home on Monday with public visitation set for Wednesday from 3-9 at the Versailles Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Funeral services will be held Thursday with burial to follow in the Cliff Hill Cemetery.

Those wanting to pay final respects are welcome to line the streets on Thursday. The Bishop family expressed their gratitude to the community for their overwhelming support.

Pictured above wife of Cpl. John Bishop, left, stands with his mother, with a marine brother by their side as the flag draped casket, pictured below, is brought from the aircraft to be placed in the hearse for the final ride home. The chartered plane landed at the North Vernon airstrip where many family and friends were on hand to support each other as they grieved for their loved one.