Hundreds Attend Funeral for Decorated WWII Veteran
They were all invited to the elaborate military funeral by a young volunteer at the vet's nursing home.
Hundreds of people gathered in a small town in New York to pay tribute to a hero from the "Greatest Generation" whom most of them had never even met.
Bob Graham, a decorated Marine who fought in World War II, died at the age of 97 on April 12. He didn't have any family left to make arrangements for him. His wife of 60 years had already died, and they didn't have any children. So a young woman stepped in to give him the final farewell he deserved.
Beth Regan, 27, first got to know Graham when he moved into the nursing home she worked at. He would regale Regan with tales from his days in the Marine Raiders, an elite fighting unit, and of earning a Silver Star for his valor in combat.
It broke Regan's heart to think no one would be there to attend the war hero's funeral.
She wrote on social media of Graham's death and added details of his funeral. Eventually, the post was shared more than 60,000 times. One person who said they were a Marine in Quantico wrote they would come to New York for the funeral with some buddies.
Graham's funeral was held in Shrub Oak at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.
Other war veterans showed up to pay their respects, many donning their uniforms and badges and saluting their comrade. Local police and firefighters even volunteered to join the tribute, carrying his flag-draped casket.
Regan, who simply wanted to honor a friend, was presented with the folded American flag that is customarily given to a loved one of a fallen veteran.
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