Statement by Matthew's Parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard, at a news conference prior to the funeral of their son Matthew.
"On behalf of the Shepard family, during this most difficult time, we are unable to fully express our appreciation for the kindness, concern and professionalism of the Poudre Valley Hospital staff in Fort Collins, as shown by Mr Rulon Stacey during his touching statement at the time of our son Matthews passing."
"Our appreciation, as well, must be expressed to the Albany County Sheriffs Department, the Laramie City Police Department, and the Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie for their extraordinary help and respectful consideration."
"On behalf of our son Matthew Shepard, we want to thank the citizens of the United States, and the people of the world, who have expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to our family during these trying times."
"A person as caring and loving as our son Matt would be overwhelmed by what this incident has done to the hearts and souls of people around the world."
"Matthew was the type of person that, if this had happened to another person, would have been he first on the scene to offer his help, his hope and his heart to the family."
"We, the family, have no adequate way of expressing our gratitude for the thousands of e-mail's comments, web site messages, phone call and cards, offering help, consolation, sympathy and support, that we have received. We are honoured and touched beyond measure."
"Please understand and respect my familys request for a private and dignified farewell to our son today. Matt's family and friends, loved him deeply, and we need to share a quiet goodbye to him. Matt himself would have been the first to honour another familys request if this had happened to someone else."
"We should try to remember that because Matt's last few minutes of consciousness on earth may have been hell, his family and friends want more than ever to say their farewells to him in a peaceful, dignified and loving manner."
"Once again, I must express our appreciation for the outpouring of concern about Matts well being during the last week, as he fought for his life in the hospital. We will never forget the love that the world had shared with this kind, loving son."