CANTON, Ga. (CBS46) -- Social distancing has changed how we do everything including funeral services, but the efforts to honor a 100-year-old World War II veteran still took top priority.
From a distance veteran James Robert Chumley’s family watched as his body was laid to rest at the Georgia National Cemetery. But unlike the traditional military burial, there was no crowd, no graveside service, and no three gun salute.
“It’s the situation we’re under today, so we’re not alone. You hear about these particular situations all over,” said Chumley’s son James David Chumley.
But the 100-year-old veteran got more than most. On the way to the burial site the family was greeted by several groups of saluting law-enforcement officials, during the funeral service they played taps, and the flag was presented to the family.
“Having the military here I think has been a bonus and I’m very appreciative of that,” added Chumley’s son.
“This is just a reflection of Robert's life and I’m not expecting to do real justice to it, we don’t have enough time to cover 100 years of the man’s experience” said the pastor during the funeral service. “A man that joined the Army right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and you know as a family he was released from active duty right after the unconditional surrender of Japan in 1945,” the pastor went on to say.
After the war Chumley was married. He was with his wife for 75 years until his death less than a month ago.
“He might have had some medical issues but to me he died of a broken heart, it’s been very difficult during the last 30 days to bury both parents under these circumstances."
The family says they want to give a special thank you to all law enforcement and military personnel who came out to support their father. The Georgia National Cemetery says the family can come back for the full military honor when things get back to normal.