NEW HAMPSHIRE — 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 Zimmerman’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 Sonny’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 “I’m Proud to be an American” 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 Zimmerman’s service.
The theme from people attending the service was the same as people reflected on Zimmerman’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.
Zimmerman’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.