#296890 - 3rd Mar 200911:43amMurdered dad-of-two Graham McKenna laid to rest
Murdered dad-of-two Graham McKenna laid to rest in full military funeral (VIDEO)
A MURDERED Merseyside soldier was given a full military funeral as hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects.
Father-of-two Graham McKenna, 45, was stabbed to death as he walked to catch the Soccer Bus to Goodison Park with his son Michael, 14, on Saturday, January 10.
Yesterday, the streets around Our Lady’s Church, Birkenhead, were filled with mourners, many in full military uniform, in tribute to a soldier who served 22 years in the regular Army before joining the local territorial force to pass his skills on to others.
Inside, the pews were packed and friends filed down the sides, looking round marble columns, while others stood at the back and on the balcony above.
Mr McKenna’s coffin, draped in the Union Flag and with his Army cap and a wreath on top, was brought into the church by a bearing party of six soldiers to the strains of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore”.
His tearful widow, Gill, was supported by son Michael, who put his arm round her throughout the 50-minute service, with daughter Amy, 19.
Reverend Denis Marmion, leading the service, said: “The events of Saturday, January 10, I know have left us all with so many unanswered questions. There are no easy, no simple answers. Today is not for those questions and answers.
“Today is about paying tribute to Graham – a loving husband and father, a loving family man, a gentle man who was friend to so many and who was loved and respected by all who knew him.
“We offer our love and support to Gill and to Amy and Michael. They are not alone. There are hundreds literally of us gathered here today in our parish church.”
Amy read a poem which she had put into her father’s birthday card last year, in which she described him as “irreplaceable”.
Then her cousin, and Mr McKenna’s niece, Michelle, shared some treasured family memories with the service.
“Gill misses him every second of every day,” she said.
“This year our world came crashing down when Graham was snatched away from us, leaving a huge hole in all our lives. A light has gone out, never to be re-lit. You will be forever in our hearts.”
Songs played included Berlin’s Take My Breath Away and Jimmy Somerville’s Don’t Leave Me This Way.
The soldiers from the Mercian Regiment (Cheshire) – the old Cheshire Regiment, with whom Mr McKenna served – then carried his coffin high on their shoulders out of the church to the sounds of The Jam’s A Town Called Malice.
His closest family and friends then attended his burial at Frankby cemetery.
GARY FINLAY, 46, of Alexandra Road, Birkenhead, was last week charged with Mr McKenna’s murder and the attempted murder of Michael, who was stabbed nine times in the attack on Upton Road, Claughton. The pair were on their way to see their beloved Everton take on Hull City in the Premier League when they were knifed. Finlay is set to appear at Liverpool Crown Court later this month.
I had the Honour of attending Grahams funeral yesterday and he would been proud of the way his family and friends came out to say goodbye.Graham was a top man and was loved by many and I for one was pleased to have known him.
It all makes perfect sense expressed in dollars and cents ,pound shillings and pence