Community says final farewell, thank you to fallen soldier

By: Melissa Randall

mrandall@abc6.com

@MRandallABC6

With heavy hearts loved ones, fellow service members, and complete strangers said good–bye to First Sgt. Peter A McKenna Jr. A funeral mass was held at Saint Mary of the Bay in Warren on Monday.

"It's emotional for all of us as brothers in the armed services," said Alan White Sr., a Navy Veteran from Bristol.

Among the mourners, Sgt. McKenna's loved ones, fellow service members and community members.

"It's part of the responsibility of being American," said David Gendron, an Army Veteran.

Green Beret's lined the entrance to the Church. The loss of a comrade, hits close to home for one Special Forces veteran.

"Very much so. As the old song goes– only 3 out of 100 make it in Special Forces, so it's a very elite group," said John Hardman.

Sgt. McKenna was killed in Afghanistan last week. The fallen solider is remembered as a hero.

Thousands lining the 3 mile procession route from the church to the cemetery.

"We are supporting him by showing our love and care because he served America," said Angelina Deschenes, 9, of Warren.

A giant was seeing waiving in the wind as it waited for the hearse to pass underneath.

"We thought it would only be fitting that we honor him as he's going to his final resting place," said Chief Alexander Galinelli of the Warren Fire Dept.

Hundreds of Sgt. McKenna's fellow Bristolians met the hearse at Saint Mary's cemetery in his hometown. Their patriotism was loud even in the complete silence.

First Sgt. McKenna served 6 tours over seas and was highly decorated. He was buried with full military honors.

(C) WLNE–TV 2015