BEAVERTON — Hundreds and likely thousands of people lined the procession route on Monday to show support as the body of a fallen soldier was escorted to the final resting place.
Army Specialist John Pelham was killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan. His body was escorted home last week. Flags were at half-staff in honor of the 22-year-old engaged Sunset H.S. grad who gave his life serving his country.
Loved ones remembered Pelham as a hero and said he was passionate about serving his country. Friends said the service was a beautiful tribute to the young man’s life.
“Our son is a hero. At a very young age, he chose to put his life in harms way so that I could have this conversation with you today,” John’s father Wendall told us.
Related: Fallen Soldier’s Body Comes Home
After a morning service at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the motorcade departed for Willamette National Cemetery for a burial service.
“To see a thousand some-odd people show up, it helps the family recognize how much he’s loved,” Wendall Pelham added.
Spectators lined freeway overpasses and streets with flags and signs of support as the procession moved to the cemetery. Some were complete strangers.
“Each one of us, every time we go on a mission, we give our heartfelt condolences because we feel the pain of a fallen comrade,” veteran Butch Scott told KGW.