Pinellas Park, Fla. (CNSNews.com) - Many people who supported the efforts of Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings to save her life had granted requests for numerous interviews with both local and national news media. But members of the often-vocal crowd, who gathered during the 13 days between the removal of Terri's feeding tube and her death, grew mostly quiet when approached by reporters immediately after she died.
Daniel Vogel of Chicago Ill., who spoke with the Cybercast News Service Wednesday, said then that he traveled to Pinellas Park, Fla., "to pray for Terri, in the hope that she would be saved." He did not want to comment on Terri Schiavo's death.
"Now's not the time for interviews," Vogel said. "It's time to pray."
Supporters of the Schindler family traveled from as far away as Nova Scotia to stand outside the Woodside Hospice, holding signs, singing songs, lifting up prayers and offering their support for life in general and the life of Terri Schiavo in particular. Given time to consider Terri's death, some of them were willing to comment.
Lowell Lytle is a Pinellas Park resident who heard on his car radio that Terri had died and drove to the hospice to join those in mourning.
"Today is a dark day for America," Lytle said. "The next thing you know it's going to be the elderly or those who are 'inconvenient' to us.
"Perhaps we ought to pull the plug on the Pope today, don't you think? He's on a feeding tube and a breathing apparatus. He wouldn't want to live that way, so why don't we make the decision for him?" Lytle asked sarcastically. "Today, I am embarrassed to be an American ... I'm embarrassed to live in Pinellas Park."
Kindergarten teacher Denise Holland of Renton, Wash., left her students behind to spend the last week in front of Terri's hospice. She believes Terri's death is a turning point for America.
"We were just walking onto the site and we were about a block away when someone called out that Terri had passed and my first thought was 'she graduated,'" Holland said. "I'm a Christian and I believe she's graduated (to Heaven).
"The second thought was, 'Woe to our nation to have allowed all the levels of our government to have a woman starved and dehydrated to death,'" Holland added. "I am prayerful that the facts, the true facts will one day be disclosed and everyone will remember this time in America and it will never, never happen again."
The Cybercast News Service attempted to locate supporters of Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, at the Woodside Hospice to get their reaction to Terri's death, but none were found.
The Schindler family has scheduled a public memorial service for Terri at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at the Praise Cathedral Renewal Center in Pinellas Park. Terri's body is in the possession of the Pinellas County Medical Examiner who will perform an autopsy and release the results to the public at Michael Schiavo's request.
Terri's body will then be released to Schiavo, who has received permission from the court to have her cremated. He plans to inter Terri's remains at the Schiavo family gravesite in Pennsylvania.
To view the archive of the Cybercast News Service's coverage on Terri Schiavo, click here.
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