DEERFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Residents lined the streets of South Deerfield to honor one of their own.

23-year-old Navy corpsman Meaghan Burns was shot and killed nearly two weeks ago in Virginia.

Tonight, she returned home.

Dozens of people, holding candles and American flags, stood in the cold tonight to welcome Meaghan Burns back home to South Deerfield.

An American flag is the back drop for the procession line that brought Navy sailor Meaghan Burns back to her home town.

"I have nothing but respect for anybody that gives there devotion to the military and to the United States," South Deerfield resident William Lankrage tells us.

Meaghan's body was flown to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.

The procession traveled up Route 91 through Springfield to South Deerfield, where she grew up.

"They have sacrificed a great deal. If we have to ride, you know, many miles to get to a location where we can honor the family and honor the person that served in the military," continued Lankrage.

State and local police, along with the Patroit Guard Riders, led the peaceful procession.

Howard sharut/ state captain for the patriot gaurd riders

"We don’t know the family really. We are strangers, but yet we are here to show that we really care about her, we care about her service, we are struck about her death, and we just want to show our support and honor her the way she should," added Lankrage.

Meaghan and a second victim, 19–year-old Shianee Soles of Washington were both stationed at Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.

They were shot and killed at a ‪7-Eleven just over a week ago.

The suspect 22-year-old Donavan Moora was found in his car nearby with a self inflicted gunshot wound.

It is a tragedy that people in South Deerfield are trying to come to grips with.

"She was such a young lady, I mean so young and their life has ended like that, and had she been fortunate enough to be still living. I know she would defend her country. That’s why she went there, so it just means so much," said Patriot Guard Riders State Captain Howard Sharut.

There will be a vigil tomorrow night at The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew on Church Street in Greenfield.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.