Why a mourning community’s tribute reached millions

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Photo Provided by Matt Rubel/Rubel Photography

As the sun rose, the work continued. Even though a sense of camaraderie fell over the event, so did the sense of loss.

In October, Modern Farmer magazine published a piece about one Illinois farming community's tribute to Kyle Hendrix, who recently passed away from cancer.

Jake Moore, a friend of Hendrix, arranged a tribute featuring a procession of dozens of tractors and other pieces of large farm equipment. As neighbors heard of the tribute, the procession grew until about 60 pieces of equipment were eventually lined up in memory of Hendrix.

Photographer Matt Rubel captured the scene.

Since then, his photos have gone viral and have been viewed by millions. Click through the gallery below, with captions from Rubel, and see why.

These photos were posted with permission of the photographer, Matt Rubel at Rubel Photography. Below, Rubel describes the event and what he saw:

I was in Monticello to shoot engagement photos for my cousin.  She grew up on a farm just outside of town, and she and her two brothers were friends of Kyle Hendrix and his wife, Kristin.  I had come a couple days early to see my mother's family and heard from my uncle that this tribute was taking place.

The interesting part is that the original plan was to place around 15 to 20 tractors along the road.  Apparently, as word spread about Jake's plan, more and more farmers started bringing equipment that afternoon.  I followed my uncle and his employee as they brought two tractors and was amazed to see so many tractors waiting for the next morning.

My cousins helped in the effort the next day, picking me up at 4:30 a.m.  I spent the next two to three hours marveling at the huge machines and snapping pictures left and right.

If anyone would like to donate to the Kaleb and Khloe Hendrix Scholarship Fund, they can do so by contacting: First State Bank of Monticello, 201 West Main Street, Monticello, Illinois, 61856,  (217) 762-9431

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