Former teammates, family and friends gathered Saturday morning to say goodbye to Dave Duerson.
The memorial service was held at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side.
"I thank God He brought Dave into my life. We started out and didn't know what it was going to be, and ended up Chicago Bear champions," teammate Otis Wilson said. "This is a sad moment. But it's a great time. We shared a lot. We accomplished a lot. It was always about helping someone else."
One of the most poignant moments of the service was when Duerson's son, Brock, spoke.
He received a standing ovation for the following statement:
"Under unusual circumstances my dad decided to donate his brain to the NFL for research. And I'm proud. I'm proud. I'm proud!" Duerson said.
According to the Chicago Tribune, other former Bears players in attendance included Mike Singletary, Leslie Frazier, Jim Covert, Shaun Gayle, Brian Baschnagel, Dennis McKinnon, Mike Hartenstine, Jim Morrissey, Glen Kozlowski, Keith Van Horne, Jim Osborne, James "Big Cat" Williams, Emery Moorhead and former Bears running backs coach Johnny Roland.
Duerson underwent a well-publicized domestic dispute, divorce and personal bankruptcy, but his family believes it was his failing health that led the former Pro Bowler to take his own life. In a text message to loved ones, Duerson asked that his brain be left for NFL research, emphasizing he wanted the "left side" checked out in particular.