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Dozens line streets for Gov. Whitcomb

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Dozens of people lined the streets downtown to watch a procession and military salute for former Gov. Edgar Whitcomb, who passed away last week at the age of 98.

The spectators fought frigid temperatures to watch a cannon salute at the Indiana Statehouse.

“I think it’s important to show respect,” spectator Mike Denny said. “I think it’s important to show respect, particularly to a governor who was really highly respected and did a lot for the state.”

Before the cannon salute and statehouse ceremony-and before a military flyover downtown-the procession started at the Indiana War Memorial.

Whitcomb became governor in 1968, when John Hoffman was a kid in Jefferson County.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Hoffman said of the procession. “Maybe the last time in my life I get to watch something like this. It’s very impressive.”

Whitcomb was an Indiana native, a world traveler and a two-time prisoner of war who lived to tell the story.

So Melissa Zeber, a member of the Army National Guard, let her kids skip school to see the events.

“I think it’s a great honor,” Zeber said. “I figured this was kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to take part in an event like this.”