Crowds line Olathe street to honor soldier - KCTV5

Crowds line Olathe street to honor soldier

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OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

It was an emotional and remarkable scene from above and on the ground as hundreds of families came out to be a part of the special tribute called Stand for Spencer.

"We just want to come out and support Spencer and his family and all of our troops over there. I really believe in what we're doing," said Olathe resident Larry Alfred.

The hearse carrying the remains of Army Specialist Spencer Duncan traveled from the New Century AirCenter Airport in Gardner to the Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home at 143rd and Blackbob Road.

The 21-year-old was among 30 U.S. servicemen killed when a helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan last week.

"We are out here because we are part of the community and I'm a teacher. Him being so young it's really emotional," said Jen Reynolds.

The somber moment was also filled with love and pride. Families who never met Duncan wanted his parents and relatives traveling behind the hearse to look out their windows and see they are not alone.

"Tell his parents that they can be so very, very proud. They may be without their son but they won't be without his memory. And he did his country proud," said Patti Pearce, who was among those along the route.

Ruth Deleon attends the same church as the Duncan family and she had a chance to speak to his mother.

"I went to see her at the house and I told her anything she needed, I was here for her," said Deleon.

Mallissa Belt wants the event to be a lesson for the younger generation.

"These are my grandchildren. I think it's important they understand when someone dies for us, for our county, we come out and pay tribute to them," said Belt.

Todd Ashe was just one of many veterans who came out to salute the local hero who will never be forgotten.

"It's what it's about. People who serve our country, I pay my respects to them," said Ashe.

The Tuesday procession traveled in front of Olathe South High School and Indian Trail School where Duncan attended. The funeral will be held Thursday.

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