World War II Veteran

A 94 year-old World War II veteran and widower who lived alone was found dead by police in his high-rise apartment in Brockton, Massachusetts last month. Sadly, Nathaniel Marshall left no family behind. So it seemed as if nobody would come to this veteran’s funeral. Thankfully, though, hundreds of people ended up coming together to honor his life in a way that was befitting for a treasured veteran.

Marshall, a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, died on February 9th. Afterwards, local police put out word about Marshall’s death and his lack of friends and family.

The notice touched the hearts of members of the Massachusetts community. So they turned out by the hundreds to honor the lone veteran at his funeral.

Hundreds Show Up At Veteran Nathaniel Marshall’s Funeral

Enterprise News reported that on the day of Marshall’s funeral, “hundreds of police, firefighters, city officials, EMTs and paramedics, elementary school students, community members and fellow veterans” showed up to pay their respects to him.

“He won’t be alone when he’s buried today,” said Rene Fuertes, state assistant sergeant in arms for VFW.

Fuertes said he’d just heard about the funeral the day before. “For me, it’s emotional to learn about. This is a community getting together and showing support. … We’re here to support a fellow brother.”

Students from the Arnone Elementary School also came out. The children lined up across the street to salute Marshall, and many of them waived American flags.

Brockton, Massachusetts Mayor Robert Sullivan said he was proud of his community for coming together to give this World War II veteran the sendoff that he deserved.

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Mayor Sullivan Praises His Community

“It comes down to respect and honor,” Mayor Sullivan said. “This is an unbelievable show of support. He was of the greatest generation. It’s a fitting tribute to him. It’s a sad story, but it’s a wonderful story, in terms of law enforcement and people who have served this nation, to come together and honor one of their own. It’s a great tribute.”

Around 20 firefighters showed up in uniform, saying that they were happy to do so.

“We felt like he should be sent off with the proper respects that come with that position,” said Deputy Fire Chief Scott Albanese. “I think it’s incredible. Obviously, we owe a debt of service to our veterans. Everybody deserves a proper sendoff. He deserves it as much as anybody else.”

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Police Chief Thanks World War II Veterans

Police Chief Emanuel Gomes pointed out that Americans owe those who served in World War II a huge debt of gratitude.

“This gentleman – he earned this,” Gomes said. “He was an American veteran of the greatest generation. Those men and women at the time saved the world, nothing short of that.”

In the end, Gomes was also incredibly proud of his Brockton, Massachusetts community for the way they honored Nathaniel Marshall.

“It just shows the humanity side of our service,” he added. “Our brothers in police and fire and all the EMS people. This is what they sign on for. They have a good heart. The response has been overwhelming.”

Unfortunately veterans often don’t seem to get the respect that they deserve in America these days.

It warms our hearts to see a town come together to honor a veteran in the way that he deserves!

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