Hundreds of supporters lined the 15-mile funeral procession route for fallen soldier Andrew Meari, of Plainfield.
Most of them were strangers, who turned out on Veteran's Day to honor the man.
"You do it for the family," said John Falaris of Joliet. Respect. "To show them even though we didn't know him, the community is behind them,"
"He's in such a peaceful place here. This is such a lovely cemetery and the family should take some solace in the fact that people have come out to commemorate this man," said Retired Army Sgt 1st Class Debbie Emery.
The 21-year-old soldier died in Afghanistan last week. His unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device, according to the Department of Defense.
Meari attended Plainfield South High School until moving to Wisconsin, said Todd Williams, a family spokesperson. He joined the Army in 2008, according to the Patriot Riders.
He received several military honors during his two-year career.
The Bank of Shorewood is collecting donations in Meari's honor to support the Fisher House, an organization that provides housing and support for the families of wounded soldiers:
Pfc. Andrew N. Meari Memorial Fund
c/o Bank of Shorewood
5650 Caton Farm Rd.
Plainfield, IL 60586