Slain Marine's Family Gets Apology For Funeral Comments

PITTSBURGH -- After being criticized for attending a Marine's funeral, Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll sent a public, written apology to the man's widow on Monday.

The funeral was held last week for Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, 32, of Pittsburgh's Westwood section. Goodrich died July 10 in Iraq.

Family members said Knoll came to the funeral uninvited, passed out business cards and made a remark about the government being against the war.

Gov. Ed Rendell said Sunday that the state does not have a position on the war, and it supports the men and women who are fighting. He also said written apologies would be sent to the family.

Goodrich's sister, Rhonda, told Channel 4 Action News that Knoll called and left an apology on her voice mail, along with her phone number and an invitation to call back.

On Monday afternoon, Knoll's office released a letter of apology to Goodrich's wife.

"Sgt. Goodrich's service was beyond the call of duty. If my regard for his family's grief was seen another way, it is thoroughly regrettable. The fact that you have been offended deserves and receives my most profound apology," the letter said.