ELIZABETHTON — Small groups of people gathered on a beautiful fall Wednesday afternoon along the route of the funeral procession for Jonathan Nye, 7 and Dalton Moffitt, 2.
Several gathered in the parking lot of Watauga Point United Methodist Church on Gap Creek Road to pay their last respects to the children who were killed last Thursday in a two-car accident on U.S. Highway 19E in Valley Forge.
Tammy Arnold was one of those gathered in the parking lot. She said she had known both of the boys. They often had played in her backyard.
“They were typical little boys,” Arnold said with obvious affection and grief. The grief was made more painful because of the death of her own son just two years before.
“It is sad when tragedy comes for the little ones,” she said. “But, I believe in my heart that God has found a place for them and they are just waiting for their rest of their family to follow.”
As the hearse approached them, Arnold and two other women stood close to the road and held hands to show their grief and support.
Close by them stood Jerry Stout. He said he had no connection to the two children except that he was a loving grandfather.
“This affects the whole community, the whole county,” Stout said sadly. “It unnerves all of us.”
The funeral procession soon passed the small group of mourners. After the last car had passed their was an empty sense of quietness as a few colorful leaves fell from the trees onto the parking lot. Several people stood still, lost in their thoughts.