A fallen soldier from Georgia was laid to rest Saturday at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.
Sergeant First Class Omar Forde, 28, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Dec. 17.
Forde's funeral was held today in Acworth and those that showed up honored the fallen soldier and his sacrifice.
Riders with the Patriot Guard, stood shoulder to shoulder next to people who just want to show their respect.
"Until you have stood on the other side of this flag line, you don't realize how important this is," said David Shreckengost, one of the route captains for the processional.
For the first time, Christine Desselles-Wilson stood vigil over the processional manning a flag along side the Patriot Guard.
"This is the first time I have done this, and this is the last one I want to do; it's very, very emotional," said Desselles-Wilson.
It was emotional because she knew Forde quite well, living down the street from him as he grew up. The two would share conversations in her front yard when he would stop by on his way to play basketball down the street.
Others who had never met Forde also showed up on the dreary Saturday morning.
Peggy Minschew stood alone on the side of Blue Springs road, holding an American flag as his funeral procession left the church.
She held that flag long after Forde was gone, and didn't lower it until the last car had left the lot. She was there, simply because of what Forde represents.
"We have freedoms that nobody else in this world has, and we take them for granted every day. And I saw this morning the funeral announcement; I said, ‘I'm not going to take mine for granted today, I'm going to get myself up and go out and inconvenience myself a little bit just to show my support to his family'," said Minschew.
For Patriot Guard members like Shreckengost, that kind of commitment makes these funerals a little easier to bare.
"Patriotism is not dead," said Schrekengost. "You see his neighbors, friends, people who have never met him; they are here today to support this family; to let them know that they are not alone."
Copyright 2013 WGCL (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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