The body of former Navy Seal Chris Kyle is being buried in a private ceremony at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
The funeral procession for slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, which the Department of Public Safety says may be the longest in U.S. history, passed through Central Texas on Interstate 35 Tuesday morning on its way to the Texas State Cemetery where Kyle will be laid to rest.
The procession left Midlothian about 45 minutes later than planned Tuesday morning, but was underway by around 8:45 a.m. as a light rain fell.
A white hearse is carrying Kyle's flag-draped coffin.
The 38-year-old SEAL, who was reputed to have been the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, and another veteran were shot to death earlier this month at a North Texas shooting range.
About 200 motorcycles, vehicles and buses were taking part Tuesday in the 200-mile trip from Midlothian to Austin.
The procession reached Waco just after 10 a.m, and arrived in Austin just after the noon hour.
The procession traveled at about 50 miles per hour and the DPS says officers occupied the left lane near the motorcade so no one was able to pass.
The procession was originally expected to arrive in the Waco area sometime between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday, accompanied by military personnel, first responders and Patriot Guard Riders, but because of the late start, didn't arrive until a little after 10 a.m.
Waco police were blocking southbound on-ramps about three minutes before the arrival of the procession and were keeping them closed until the procession passed.
Hundreds of people lined the highway as the procession passed through the city, many holding flags.
The procession isn’t scheduled to stop in Waco, but a large contingent of Patriot Guard Riders was joining the motorcade, staging at a truck stop at new Road and I-35 and using the on-ramp near Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.
Lorena police Chief Tom Dickson said Lorena police also will shut down both of the town’s on-ramps during the procession and said the Brookshire's parking lot and the rest area south of town are the best places for onlookers to go.
People will not be permitted to park on overpasses or on the roadside, he said.
Temple police will also have units positioned at southbound on-ramps, which will be blocked as the procession passes through the city.
Horny Toad Harley Davidson between Temple and Belton plans to line up motorcycles outside the dealership, whose engines will be started and lights will be turned on as the procession passes.
Some local Patriot Guard members plan to be at the dealership with flags to show their respects.
Temple Fire & Rescue stationed personnel and trucks on each overpass in the city in Kyle’s honor.
Two ladder trucks were at the lower overpass of South Loop 363 with an American flag suspended between their extended ladders.
Southbound exit ramps will also be blocked in Salado as the procession passes.
Authorities say the Interstate 35 reset area south of Salado is a good place from which to view the procession Tuesday.
Thousands Attended Memorial Service Monday
Thousands of people attended a public memorial service for Kyle on Monday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
Military pallbearers carried Kyle’s flag-draped coffin into the stadium Monday, as some of Kyle's relatives walked behind it.
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was among those who attended the service.
"God bless this great warrior," she said in a Facebook post.
She expressed disappointment that U.S. flags weren’t flying at half-staff for Kyle.
Kyle’s widow Tara fought back tears as she spoke at the memorial, telling a crowd estimated at 7,000 that their marriage was a "crazy ride" and a deeply fulfilling experience.
She said people always told her Kyle was lucky that she stayed with him, but she said she's the one who was lucky that Kyle stayed with her.
She told the mourners that he'll always be with her.
Kyle’s friends and military comrades called him a dedicated family man known for his sense of humor, compassion, selflessness and generosity.
During the service, country music star Randy Travis sang "Whisper My Name," which he said Kyle's widow told him was a meaningful song for the couple.
Travis also sang "Amazing Grace."
Bagpipers played as Kyle's flag-draped coffin was carried out of the stadium at the conclusion of the service.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in a statement Monday, called Kyle “the public face of an anonymous breed of American warrior who are handed the hardest missions and assume the largest risks.”
“Chris was among the very best at what he did, and he saved countless American lives in the process,” Perry said.
“Our state and our nation suffered a profound loss with his passing.”
Iraq War veteran Eddie Ray Routh, 25, has been charged in the Feb. 2 shooting deaths of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a North Texas gun range.
Kyle, who completed four tours of duty in Iraq and wrote the best-selling book "American Sniper,” earned a reputation as one of the military's most lethal snipers during four tours of duty in Iraq.
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