Tiahrt’s son laid to rest

? Hundreds of mourners came Wednesday to funeral services for the teenage son of Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt.

Luke Tiahrt, 16, died Saturday of an apparent suicide at the family’s home in Virginia. The circumstances surrounding his death have not been disclosed.

“His loss was felt very deeply by many people,” said the Rev. Gene Carlson, of Westlink Christian Church. “In a very profound way his tragic death has wounded his father and mother, his brother and sister, his grandma (Audene) Holland, his grandpa and grandma (Tiahrt).”

The Tiahrts’ youngest child was remembered at the public funeral service as a very outgoing person, but also somewhat shy and sensitive. He was a musician and artist, and his sketches were shown along with family photos at the service.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, along with several other members of Congress and community leaders, attended the service.

Condolences sent from President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were read. In Bush’s note, he and his wife told the Tiahrt family: “Our hearts ache for you.”

Luke Tiahrt would have been a junior this fall at W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax, Va. He was a starting linebacker for the Woodson football team as a sophomore, and his school letter was placed among the flowers that adorned his casket.

Messages from his siblings and parents will be placed in the casket with him when he is buried at a private service later in Driftwood, Okla. In one, his parents call him their “bringer of light.”

The Rev. Joe Voss, of the Assembly of God Church, said on the football field as well as in life there were forces to defeat. He said that somehow on Saturday, Luke heard the wrong play and got confused in the huddle.

“I’ll be honest with you: Suicide is sin,” Voss told mourners. “I am also going to be honest with you: We are all sinners.”

Rep. Todd Tiahrt, left, and others move the casket of his 16-year-old-son, Luke Tiahrt, at Westlink Christian Church in Wichita. Luke Tiahrt, whose funeral was Wednesday Wednesday, died Saturday of an apparent suicide at the family's home in Virginia.