2,500 Mourners Gather to Bid Final Farewell to Otto Warmbier in Emotional Funeral Service
He was eulogized by his siblings during the ceremony, and his girlfriend called him her 'soulmate' at a separate vigil.
The 22-year-old's simple pine casket was led out in a procession that included bagpipes and a line of family members. Among them were his father, who wore an American flag tie, his mother, brother and sister.
More than 2,500 mourners poured into a Wyoming, Ohio, high school where Warmbier graduated just four years ago.
His hometown prepared for the service by lining the streets with white and blue ribbons, the colors of his alma mater, along the procession route.
The funeral program featured a quote from Warmbier’s salutatorian graduation address: "This is our season finale. This is the end of one great show, but just the beginning of hundreds of new spin-offs."
Inside, his siblings eulogized their brother.
His family laid out all the belongings Warmbier had with him when he returned from that fateful trip to North Korea.
On display were his passport, a calculator, and the blazer he wore as he begged for his life to a North Korean court.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman spoke before the funeral.
“Otto Warmbier’s life was cut short but he had so much promise he was everything he was outgoing, athletic, bright, curious,” he said. ‘In his short life he was able to make a huge impact.”
On Tuesday night, the University of Virginia held a candlelight vigil for Warmbier, where his girlfriend, Alex Vagonis, called him her "soulmate."
His family declined an autopsy to determine what may have caused him to fall into a coma on his return to America.
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