Gen. Mundy: Gone but not forgotten

Apr 22, 2014

A hundred years from now when people in Haywood County reflect on the big moments in the community’s history, the funeral and burial of Gen. Carl E. Mundy Jr. last Saturday will be one of them.

Having a four-star general and a commandant of the U.S. Marines from your hometown is rare, but having the general laid to rest in your hometown is even more rare. Many decorated military officers of Mundy’s stature are buried in military cemeteries, but it was clear that Mundy’s roots were deeply planted in Haywood County.

Though he moved to Waynesville with his family at the age of 9, he met his future wife here as well as a number of close friends. While many of us lose touch with childhood friends throughout the years, Mundy stayed in close contact with them until his final days.

We can’t imagine the every day demands of the U.S. Marines leader, but the general was never too busy to make time for his family as well as his friends in Waynesville. His commitment and loyalty were what made him a strong leader.

It was an honor to be part of his funeral at the First United Methodist Church in Waynesville and his burial at Green Hill Cemetery on Saturday. Witnessing a military funeral of this magnitude is not something Haywood residents are accustomed to since we don’t live near a base, but it is definitely a sight to behold.

Hundreds of Marines and others who served their country lined the street and residents were eager to shake their hands, thank them for their service and snap a few pictures with the men and women in uniform. The Marines led the funeral procession in what was a beautiful display of tradition and respect for Mundy’s service.

It also was touching to see so many residents standing with umbrellas in the rain outside of the church waiting to pay their respects and join the procession up to the cemetery. Thank you to all of Gen. Mundy’s friends and family members who offered their stories and memories for his memorial story and thank you to everyone who assisted in making sure Mundy’s final wishes were carried out with precision.

And finally, thank you Gen. Mundy for your service to this country and for making Haywood County your home. You will not be forgotten.