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Ex-SEAL’s service draws thousands

The coffin of former Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle was shown on a video screen at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, during his memorial service.

LARRY W. SMITH/EPA

The coffin of former Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle was shown on a video screen at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, during his memorial service.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Taya Kyle spoke through tears as she stood in front of her husband’s flag-draped coffin, her voice trembling as she described to a crowd of thousands what former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle meant to his family, friends, and country.

‘‘Chris, there isn’t enough time to tell you everything you mean to me and everything you taught me,’’ the widow said during a two-hour memorial service Monday at Cowboys Stadium for her husband, a decorated sniper and best-selling author who was slain earlier this month at a gun range.

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She described herself as broken but said the family will ‘‘put one foot in front of the other’’ to get through their grief. She told her two children that they will remember Kyle’s silly side, Texas twang, and prayers they recited together.

Nearly 7,000 people, including former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and her husband, attended the service.

Dozens of military personnel and others were seated in front of the podium near the Dallas Cowboys’ star at midfield, where Kyle’s coffin was placed at the beginning of the memorial.

After Taya Kyle’s eulogy, country singer Randy Travis sang ‘‘Whisper My Name’’ and ‘‘Amazing Grace.’’

Iraq War veteran Eddie Ray Routh, 25, has been charged in the Feb. 2 killings of Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a North Texas gun range.

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