Posted at: 09/01/2012 6:24 PM
By: Jessica Layton
NORTH ADAMS - Cheers and gratitude for the Patriot Guard were followed by quiet sobs and profound sadness at the site of a horse drawn wagon carrying the flag draped casket.
As church bells echoed throughout North Adams Massachusetts, an entire city came together to honor a soldier's sacrifice.
"There's a lot of sadness here today yet proud in the same aspect," said family friend Tom McDonough.
"It's touching," added elementary school friend Kyle Aubin.
Private First Class Michael DeMarsico died August 16th. He was killed by an enemy improvised explosive device.
In a platoon of 20 men, DeMarsico was the point person - leading late night missions to find explosives in Afghanistan. And fellow servicemen and high school buddies alike will tell you he wouldn't have settled for any other job.
The First Baptist Church in North Adams holds about 750 people. Not nearly enough space for the overflow of patriotism. The comforting words of the Reverend echoed throughout the city.
"A young man who faced with the most dangerous of jobs, stepped up to the task - and not back," said First Baptist Church Reverend David Anderson.
Mourners at the memorial were reminded Michael DeMarsico didn't die alone. His two friends on the front lines with him scooped him into his arms after the blast. And they assured his family he was never in pain.
A small comfort to those who loved him
"You learn to accept he's gone for the right reasons. Fighting for our country, doing what he loves, said close friend Jessica Storie.
When the pomp and circumstance fade away, friends who've packed the streets today will be there to offer strength to this heart broken family. As we're once again reminded how fragile life is when you're a country at war.