MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. - Hundreds of people honored fallen Marine, Lance Corporal Anthony Denier, with a final homecoming Monday morning.
The body of 26-year-old Lance Cpl. Anthony Denier, of Mechanicville, arrived from Dover Air Force base to Albany International Airport at 11 a.m. Monday. The arrival ceremony will take place on the airfield at the Million Air hangar located on Jetway Drive.
Denier's arrival at the airport was followed by a procession to his hometown. His casket was escorted by the Mechanicville Fire Department and Police Department as well as the Patriot Guard Riders.
The route to Mechanicville went down Route 146E, down Pruyn Hill Road and around the Mechanicville High School where students and staff of the Junior High and High School stood on the procession route and waved flags in honor of Denier.
With their hands to their
hearts and flags waving proudly students like Maya Demarco saluted the hearse his
body was transported in.
The 12-year-old summed up the
feeling in the crowd, "All these emotions that came through everyone - I
just don't know."
But she is old enough to
understand the sacrifice made for her, her fellow classmates and the country
they live in.
"He was a young man who
went to war for us and lost his life," Demarco said.
As riders with the patriot
guard, police and fire trucks escorted Denier's hearse around the high school, 800
students waiting outside fell silent as they showed their respect.
"It's amazing how you can
honor someone so much just by watching," Trevor Demarco added.
Even students older than Maya
were left speechless as Denier's body moved through his hometown one last time.
The procession went back down to Central Avenue heading north, then onto Saratoga Avenue headed south to North Main Street, ending at American Legion Post 91.
Governor Cuomo has directed flags be flown at half-staff Monday in Denier's honor, as well.
Calling hours are from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the American Legion Post 91. The funeral will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. followed by a burial service at Saratoga National Cemetery.
On Sunday neighbors began their own preparations, starting with hanging yellow ribbons. Sandy Gorham began her Sunday preparing the yellow bows and decorations for a Marine she never knew. 26-year-old Lance Cpl. Anthony Denier, of Mechanicville, was killed in action in Afghanistan on December 2.
Veteran and Marine Al Munson did his part by displaying a flag; he had a storm of emotions when he found a letter on his door Sunday asking for his support for the fallen marine.
"He's still a Marine and he gave that sacrifice. He's family. He's a Marine, I was a Marine. You don't join the Marines you become a Marine. It's something that stays with you for the rest of your life," said Munson.
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