Funeral held for GySgt. Thomas Sullivan - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Funeral held for GySgt. Thomas Sullivan

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Thousands from across the country said goodbye to a local hero today.  Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan’s funeral and burial took place in western Massachusetts as family and friends remember and mourn the loss of their loved one. 

Throughout the morning hours, Plumtree Road was lined with American flags and people showing their support and remember a local hero.

"We’re here to pay respects for what he’s done - not just for us, but for the whole country," said Nancy Keyes.

Neighbors stepped out Monday and lined the sidewalks surrounding Holy Cross Church for the funeral for Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, who was killed when a gunman opened fire in a Tennessee recruiting center less than two weeks ago.

"We are all from the same neighborhood and here to show our respects and mostly our thanks to those guys who stand on the front line for us," said Mark Cieboter of Springfield.

"We feel like we are bringing Tommy home.  It’s our way to pay our respects, wouldn’t miss it," Keyes added.

The funeral was closed to the public, but many looked on as family and friends, dignitaries, and Marines made their way inside..

The Gunnery Sergeant’s casket, covered in an American flag, was carried into Holy Cross Church.

A eulogy was read by his sister and niece and remembered their Tommy, their hero as the man with the greatest smile who loved his family. 

Bishop Mitchell Rozanski was the main celebrant and homilist today.

"I think that crowds that were inside the church and those that lined the streets of Springfield who were there to support the family show how deeply Tommy's life and the lives of our armed forces

Members of the Marine Corps honored Sullivan with a 21-gun salute as the family laid Gunnery Sgt. Thomas sullivan to rest at the Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Agawam.

The silence today at today's services was powerful as the community remembered the Gunnery Sergeant.

Those in attendance today included Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Congressman Richard Neal, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

Western Mass News will continue to follow today's events and have a full report starting on Western Mass News at 4 p.m. on CBS 3.

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation)

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