On Wednesday, six-year-old Jacob Hall was laid to rest after he was fatally wounded in a school shooting. Jacob loved superheroes, and to honor his memory his family encouraged everyone attending his funeral to come dressed as a superhero. The service was a sea of capes and masks, as the Oakdale Baptist Church in Townville, South Carolina was filled to capacity with mourners looking to pay their respects. The eulogy was even delivered by a man dressed as Batman, who was brought to tears during the service.
According to NBC News, Jacob Hall was a victim of a school shooting when a 14-year-old boy fired a gun at him, as well as another student and a teacher as they were preparing for recess at Townville Elementary School. Jacob was in critical condition and after several surgeries passed away from his injuries. It's also believed that the 14-year-old shooter killed his father before going to Townville Elementary. The shooter has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
Jacob loved superheroes and was laid to rest surrounded by some of his favorite things. His coffin was adorned with superhero themed balloons as well as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mask and Captain America action figure. Wonder Woman, Superman, and the Avengers were all in attendance for the funeral, with Batman delivering the eulogy. The man under the mask has been identified as John Buckland, founder of Heros4Higher, a charity that delivers inspirational messages to children. Buckland rode up in a custom-built Batmobile that he drove all the way from his home in West Virginia. Though Buckland did not know Jacob, his families stories of him gave him enough material for the eulogy. Jacob himself was laid to rest dressed as Batman.
The funeral was truly a touching moment and is not the first time that superheroes have been used to honor children. After the 2012 Aurora shooting, in which a gunman opened fire at a theater full of people attending a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, Batman actor Christian Bale took the time to visit the survivors in the hospital and take pictures with them. On a separate occasion, he also paid for a trip to Disney Land for a 4-your-old cancer patient and Batman fan.
Of course, one can't forget about Batkid, the most elaborate Make-A-Wish project ever staged. Cancer survivor Miles Scott's wish was to be the sidekick of Batman and for a day his wish came true. Hundreds of volunteers worked to transform San Fransisco into Gotham City, with Batkid teaming up with Batman to stop staged crimes all throughout the city. The project was turned into a documentary called Batkid Begins and Julia Roberts will produce and star a film adaptation of the documentary.