Army veteran funeral services go viral
SARASOTA - "For now and evermore, Hoorah!" explains a veteran presenter. A flooding of 'hoorah' cheers echoes back from the massive crowd as an Army veteran is laid to rest.
Army veteran Edward K. Pearson died Aug. 31st. The Naples veteran had no known family, yet more than 1000 people came out to Sarasota National Cemetery for Pearson’s funeral with full military honors.
“Any veteran, it’s very very important. We’re the ones who keep the country safe," says Navy veteran Chief Petty Officer Woodie Brewer.
Details of Pearson’s funeral flew into a social media sharing frenzy, gaining national attention after his obituary posting went viral.
The show of patriotism is palpable as the sea of supporters are heard singing along to ‘God Bless America' and 'Amazing Grace.'
Local SRQ Vets founders Joe Golembeski and Bill Sterbinsky say while unclaimed veteran funerals are common here, they have never seen an outpouring quite like this.
"You have humanity at its finest element sitting right here. You know I don’t think anyone anticipated taking an hour and a half to get down Clark Road to the National Cemetery just to pay respect to someone they didn’t know but served our American culture," says Sterbinsky.
Several here traveled throughout the state to attend the Army vet’s funeral, many giving similar reasons behind the pull to be here for Pearson.
Services wrapped with white doves being released and the sense of a community of strangers standing in solidarity as a humble former soldier is given a proper burial.
“What happened here today is unexplainable and it needs to be more of," says Sterbinsky.
Visit Sarasota National Cemetery for more information of veteran burial services.