Charlie Daniels died earlier this month from a hemorrhagic stroke at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee, and his son, Charlie Daniels Jr., has opened up about how hospital staff honored his father after his death. In a post on his dad's website, Daniels Jr. reflected on saying goodbye to his father, writing that he and his mom, Hazel Daniels, were joined by much of The Charlie Daniels Band's family, friends, business office staff and crew.
"Everyone said tearful goodbyes to the man who kept most of the people there employed for many decades, some of them as many as 45-47 years," Daniels Jr. wrote. "Then some of the hospital staff and the hospital chaplain talked to us about doing a Patriots Honor Walk for dad when they were ready to take him to the hearse and then to the funeral home." He explained that a Patriots Honor Walk is the civilian equivalent to the military Honor Walk, where hospital staff lines the hallways as the recently deceased is taken out the doors. Daniels Jr. noted that his father did not serve in the military and that the Patriots Honor Walk is for people who were passionate supporters of the country and the military.
He shared that one of the nurses at the hospital who had served in the Navy draped an American flag over Daniels' body and the hospital chaplain handed out prayer cards. When Daniels' body was brought out of the hospital, the ER staff, friends, employees, friends of the family in law enforcement and many others lined the hallway before, unbeknown to Daniels Jr., the Mt. Juliet Police Department and the Wilson County Sheriff's Department organized procession from the hospital to the funeral home in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
"Since I had driven myself that morning, I got in line behind the car that mom had been brought to the hospital in," he wrote. "Not only were there friends, and the CDB family in the motorcade, several of MJPD & Wilson County's finest led the way, and at least two dozen Patriot Guard Riders bringing up the rear on their machines." In addition, several people gathered on the street in Mt. Juliet with "American flags waving, the people holding signs saying 'We Love You, Charlie!'"
"The same tears that are flowing now were flowing even harder as I saw the town I grew up in and went to elementary school, junior high and high school come out to say goodbye to my father, and I was a wreck," Daniels Jr. shared. "Those feelings continued right up to when we pulled into the funeral home as the Mt. Juliet Fire Department had the ladder extended on one of their trucks and an American flag hanging from it. It was an overwhelming display of love, honor and respect. And it made me extremely proud to be his son."