“The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” — Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-MN)
The 89-year-old pensioner died in December with no will, no instructions and no next of kin. He lay in a cold room at the D.C. medical examiner’s office, where the unclaimed dead are usually destined for a nameless pauper’s grave.
Instead, on Friday, Moore was given a hero’s sendoff at Arlington National Cemetery. A uniformed honor guard escorted Moore’s flag-covered remains. In place of a silent goodbye, a bugler played taps and three volleys of rifle fire marked his passing.
How was a lonely man diverted from the oblivion of a potter’s field for the glory of his country’s most hallowed resting place? It was the work of a family Moore may not have known he had: the residents of State House, a post-WWII apartment building at the edge of Washington’s Embassy Row.
No family, no friends, but neighbors who wouldn't let his body go unclaimed.