Matthew Shepard's Ashes Will Be Laid To Rest At Washington National Cathedral
Twenty years after he was tied to a fence and left to die, Matthew Shepard's remains will be interred at Washington National Cathedral.
Twenty years after his brutal murder, Matthew Shepard’s ashes are finally being laid to rest.
Shepard was a 21-year-old college student when he was robbed by two men, pistol-whipped, and tied to a fence in Laramie.
Shepard, who was targeted because he was gay, hung in freezing temperatures until he was spotted by a passing cyclist.
He later died in the hospital – and his murder became a symbol of violence against gay people.
Shepard’s parents, worried that their son’s final resting place could be a target for anti-gay groups, have kept his ashes all this time.
But on October 26, Shepard will be interred at the Washington National Cathedral.
“I think it’s the perfect, appropriate place,” Matthew’s father Dennis Shepard told The New York Times. “We are, as a family, happy and relieved that we now have a final home for Matthew, a place that he himself would love.”
The cathedral regularly hosts prayer services and memorials for politicians and presidents, and recently hosted Senator John McCain’s funeral.
Bishop Robinson said he had been working with Shepard’s parents on LGBTQ issues for years and said that he belived the family had taken “this tragic, awful event" and were "making something meaningful and productive out of it.”
In the years since Shepard was tied to a fence and left to die, legislation has been introduced to help protect LGBTQ citizens – but the Bishop said that he believes that there is much work left to be done.
Read more: The New York Times