Justice, but still sadness

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The mother of a Lewisburg man killed during combat in Afghanistan took a realistic approach to the death of Osama bin Laden.

"I don't rejoice with a vengeful heart about bin Laden's death because it will not bring our loved ones back, but I do rejoice in justice," Christine Hierholzer said in a phone call after a long in-person interview so as to best express her feelings.

Sgt. David Hierholzer "was the lead out front" among other soldiers on patrol that 24th day of July 2006, his mother said. "They were ambushed and ... he held them off until he was mortally wounded."

He was 27.

The 1998 graduate of Marshall County High School "never left Lewisburg until he joined the Army," she said. He was assigned to the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division headquartered at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Her son had served a tour in Iraq before volunteering for a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"We all suffer the consequences of our actions," said Christine Hierholzer of Lewisburg.

"When I heard (about bin Laden's death) I had no reaction," said Christine Hierholzer, reasserting her reason: It won't bring her son back to her.

Sgt. Hierholzer is buried in Lone Oak Cemetery, one of several cemeteries owned and operated by the City of Lewisburg. He was buried with full military honors.

His mother received an American flag that she keeps in an upstairs bedroom.

"I set aside one room that has all the things that all the organizations have given in his memory."