Hundreds gathered Saturday for graveside rites at Walnut Hill Cemetery where U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sonny Zimmerman was buried. Flags were flown at half-staff.
NEW HAMPSHIRE â€” An overcast sky with drizzles of rain on a chilly Saturday greeted approximately 500 people turn out for the service at Waynesfield-Goshen High School. Approximately 1,500 gathered at U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sonny Zimmermanâ€™s final resting place at Walnut Hill Cemetery near New Hampshire.
Zimmerman was killed in action July 16 in Afghanistan while on mounted patrol by a rocket propelled grenade.
Services were closed per Sonnyâ€™s wishes, but many people remarked that the services were a fitting tribute to a man who will be forever remembered in the community as an American hero.
The services opened with the playing of â€śIâ€™m Proud to be an Americanâ€ť by Lee Greenwood and a final salute by the Ohio Patriot Guard.
Army Chaplain Brian Fruchey, the Rev. Kathleen Hayes, Brig. Gen. Mark Stammer and soldiers that had served with Zimmerman spoke on Zimmermanâ€™s service.
The theme from people attending the service was the same as people reflected on Zimmermanâ€™s selflessness, his courage in duty and his leadership in putting himself last among men in his charge.
Speakers reflected on Zimmerman being injured on June 3 only to begin asking to be returned after three days despite being injured in battle.
At the cemetery, the connecting highway was shut down to travelers as a large contingent paid their last respects to Zimmerman. Military honors were conducted by the U.S. Army Color Guard and the Cincinnati Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.
Zimmermanâ€™s remains were carried to the cemetery by a white hearse from Armentrout Funeral Home behind a large contingent of law enforcement, fire and other emergency personnel, the Ohio Patriot Guard and the Chained Eagles.