A final patriotic send-off for a fallen Gulfport Seabee - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A final patriotic send-off for a fallen Gulfport Seabee

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

It was a day to say a final goodbye to Chief Petty Officer Raymond Border. The Gulfport Seabee died in Afghanistan last month serving in the war on terror. A memorial procession was held Thursday morning along Highway 90 in Gulfport to honor the war hero.

Even though just a handful of people were there to pay their respects, those who did come felt compelled to be there. They came with flags to wave, along with heavy hearts. Waiting for the procession to arrive, some people, like Gean Fish, were overcome with emotion.

"I feel it's real important to pay your respects to these heroes who are coming through here," Fish said. "I'm wearing a POW shirt and you have to remember those people, but it's more important the ones that come back."

When the procession arrived, led by the Patriot Guard, salutes for the fallen Seabee were the order of the day. So where hands over hearts.

"Just to pay our respects to Mr. Border and his service to our country and respects for his family," Jerry Sims said. "And to let them know we support everything that our troops do and we're just here to honor him."

Colleen agreed, saying, "Show everybody to honor and respect our military and to know that everything they do for us to have our freedom is very important to everybody."

Remembering the family left behind by Raymond Border, including two children, was also important for Hannah Bell.

"We came out today to support the family of this fallen Seabee because we're so thankful for what every soldier does every day. And we just wanted to show our respect and honor his service," Bell said.

For those who did show up at the procession on Highway 90, you could feel the patriotism in their hearts. But they also felt something else. They were upset that more people didn't show up.

"It's sad. Really sad," Gean Fish said. "These guys have given their lives for us. This is really sad."

Following the procession on Highway 90, a private memorial for Border was held on the Seabee Base. Base personnel, family members and friends attended the service.

Border's funeral service was held earlier this month in his home state of Ohio.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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