Yantis Begins Tribute to
by: Bobby McDonald
Patriotism is alive and well in the small town of Yantis, located on the Hopkins-Wood County line, as the community begins to pay tribute to fallen soldier, Special Ranger Sgt. Tanner Higgins, who lived in the community and married a local girl. "It's super sad when any soldier dies protecting our freedoms, but it just crushes the hearts of everyone, when it's someone that they've watched grow up and known all their lives," expressed Yantis City Secretary, Tonya Norris. "Our phones are ringing off the wall and people are calling to find out if there is anything they can do!"
"This community is one of the most caring communities I know," expressed Yantis Mayor Jerry E. Miller. "Without any kind of organized effort, flags started appearing in yards, folks began calling to make sure that things were beginning to work for a massive tribute, almost immediately after word was received of Tanner's sacrifice. That's just the way the people in Yantis are. Most of them know Tanner and his extended family, and everyone in this small town knows his wife, Shelby. They've watched them grow-up, play sports and go to church with them! That's just what living in Yantis is all about!"
Flags are at half-mast at Yantis School.
"We've got people making ribbons and bows to place on signs, we've got people donating flags, and we've got teachers at the school that are working with their classes to make posters, tributes, and displays, to make certain that the Higgins-Allen family know just how much we care," continued Norris.
The last word received in Yantis is that no one knows for certain when the funeral for Sgt. Higgins will take place. "Word on Tuesday night was that the transfer had been made in Delaware on Tuesday morning, but no indication of when the funeral would take place has been made as a long process is required under military regulations," continued Mayor Miller. "It's just a wait and see process until we hear from the family and then we'll move quickly into action to make certain that they are taken care of!"
Meanwhile across town at the Yantis Cafe, the ultimate sacrifice that Sgt. Tanner Higgins gave for his country, is the topic of everyone's conversations. At the "table of knowledge," where early morning risers gather each morning for coffee before 7:00, the sadness of the event is being discussed and all hearts are sharing in the grief of the family. "I wish there was something we could do!" expressed one grey-haired gentleman. "But, it's just a waiting game, when you're dealing with the military, and things have to be done according to protocol."
"My heart is breaking for that little girl having to meet the coffin in Delaware," expressed another grey-haired lady. "I keep seeing her beautiful smile and her heart on the basketball court, and although we know what a strong person she is, no one at that age should have to go through something like this! She's been in my constant thoughts and prayers, since I received the word!"
The last word from Shelby Allen Higgins was that she will be notifying those in Yantis, as soon as she knows something about arrangements for her husband's funeral and tribute, but at the current time, no plans have been able to be finalized. We'll publish the arrangements as soon as Shelby alerts us to the details.
Meanwhile, hearts are heavy, as Yantis shares in the grief of this family, and patriotism couldn't be any higher!