Bethlehem, Pa. — The wife of slain Army Capt. Christopher Scott Seifert, cradling her 4-month-old son in her arms, followed her husband's flag-draped casket to his funeral Saturday as 1,000 mourners gathered to honor one of the earliest victims of the war in Iraq.
The 27-year-old Seifert was one of two officers killed in a March 23 attack -- allegedly by another 101st Airborne soldier -- at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait.
Theresa Seifert, carrying her infant son, Benjamin, and about 25 family members walked behind six uniformed pallbearers carrying Seifert's casket into Central Moravian Church, where Seifert had been baptized and attended services. Trumpeters from Valley Forge Military Academy played as mourners poured into the church.
The Rev. Douglas Caldwell, who married the couple at the adjacent 18th century stone Moravian Chapel on May 29, 1999, led the funeral services. Seifert had met his wife while attending Moravian College, across from the church.
During the service, which was closed to reporters, the Rev. Carol A. Reifinger recalled that Seifert loved pranks and was always smiling, said Howard Cooper, a former Marine from Allentown who attended the funeral.
"They said he could find the rainbow in any situation," Cooper said. "He just seemed to live a really full life in just 27 short years."
Seifert was one of two officers killed March 23 when Sgt. Hasan K. Akbar, 32, allegedly attacked officers' tents at the encampment with grenades. Fourteen other soldiers were injured.
"It's a shame that he had to be killed by one of his own fellows," said Raymond Dubbs, a 78-year-old Navy veteran of World War II who was among the mourners.
In Florida, more than 2,000 friends and family members crowded into a high school gymnasium for a standing-room-only memorial service for Marine Lance Cpl. Brian Rory Buesing, 20. He and eight others were killed in an ambush by Iraqi troops on March 23.
"We're not supposed to be doing this, you're not supposed to be burying your children," Buesing's father, William Buesing III, said at the service. "Being a former Marine, along with my dad, we understand what (U.S. troops) are doing over there. But I don't understand why I'm burying my son."
And in Michigan, relatives and fellow servicemen crowded into a church in White Lake Township to remember Marine Maj. Kevin Nave, 36, killed in a March 26 vehicle accident in the war region.
"I have never felt pain like I feel now," said his father, Reno Nave.