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ST. LOUIS – The family of fallen Marine Jared Schmitz has had a few days to gather themselves after the remarkable show of support they received from the St. Louis community during Jared’s procession.

Today, his father, Mark, wanted to thank everyone for what happened Wednesday. 

Mark Schmitz says words can’t describe what his family saw and felt during the procession of his son to Baue Funeral Home from St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  

“We pulled out and immediately saw an insanely long line of flashing lights. That was the very first thing we saw,” he said. 

Schmitz says every second of the ride was memorable. And much needed for his family.

“Just seeing the grown adults and children just crying on the road. Some knew him, some didn’t, but it meant the world to us,” he said. 

“I can’t thank the people of St. Louis enough for coming out and showing support they did it really does make a huge difference.”   

Schmitz says the monumental display which many St. Louisans say was unlike anything they have ever seen, helps the family accept what happened to their son. As difficult as it is to find a way to move on.  

“I was so full of pride that there wasn’t room for tears. I cried enough at the airport but riding in vehicle and seeing all. I had a sense of calm about me,” he said. 

But once they arrived at the Cave Spring exit, with bigger crowds and familiar faces, the tears began to flow. Schmitz knew something special was happening. 

“(Jared) would be incredibly proud. He would know what he did had a meaning behind it,” he said. 

“I know for a fact he would be a Marine again. I feel him all around, me and family does and I’m sure his mother does. I know there is pride there.  

Schmitz says the family is hearing the large crows will gather this Thursday as Jared is taken to Jefferson Barracks, his final resting place. 

The public visitation for Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz is tomorrow at Baue Funeral Home in St. Charles from 3-10 p.m.