TSA officers help family and dignitaries Pay their Final Respects to Mr. Shriver

March 31, 2011

By Nantucket TSO

Mary Salem

The world lost an American peace builder, political leader and activist on Jan. 18 with the passing of Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr.

Mourners came from all walks of life to a funeral Mass at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, Md., followed by a wake and burial in Massachusetts. Shriver was laid to rest alongside his wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, at St. Francis Xavier in Centerville.


A team of Transportation Security Officers at Barnstable Municipal Airport, along with local law enforcement officers, assisted with security procedures for funeral attendees at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod. TSM Kim LaForge, STSO David Crowell, TSO John Cingolani, LTSO Dianne Sperre and TSO Lois Cielke all took part. The security effort ensured that the family and world-wide dignitaries traveled to and from Washington Dulles International Airport safely and efficiently.

The man known as Sargent Shriver since his childhood in Westminster, Md., was born Nov. 9, 1915. He spent his high school years at Canterbury School in New Milford, Conn., and then went on to Yale University in 1934 and Yale Law School.

In 1994, Shriver received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He is known for starting the Peace Corps, an organization promoting peace and friendship internationally through American civilians. He later founded the Job Corps and Head Start programs. In 1984, he was elected president of the Special Olympics, which was formed by Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

In 2003, Shriver was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Even then, he was able to give to others through his daughter, Maria Shriver. As his affliction advanced, Maria published an illustrated book, “What’s Happening to Grandpa?” to help children understand Alzheimer’s.

At 95 years old, Shriver was honored for his passion for helping others by world leaders and performers. Former President Bill Clinton, first lady Michelle Obama, U2 front-man Bono and of course, members of the Kennedy and Shriver families, including 19 grandchildren reading short remembrances about their grandfather, spoke at the funeral.

At the burial, family and invited guests were given candles to hold under a tent located near the burial plot. Cape Cod residents also gathered, braving the frigid cold to show their support for Shriver. Military officers carried Shriver’s casket, draped in an American flag, over to the gravesite.

And so a most beloved and respected American will live on through the legacy of his many his achievements. Those officers who participated in the screening process add their respects as well