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Hundreds attend funeral for vet with no family in Willimantic

Video by Tom Maroney

WILLIMANTIC --   U.S. Army veteran Matthew Williams, who had no living family, was remembered by hundreds of mourners on Thursday.

American Legion Post 26 - Stafford Springs posted a request on Facebook earlier in the week, asking for people to pay their respects.

Mourners came from all over the state to the cemetery. The outdoor service included full military honors. The crowd included members of the community, representatives of the Connecticut State Police, The American Legion and local law enforcement.

The service lasted about 30 minutes, including a bagpipe processional and a send off to Taps.

"Moments like this, with someone who served there country, should never have to pass alone," said Russ Benblatt of Potter Funeral Home. "A crowd like this, paying respects to someone they never met, it really restores faith in the human spirit."

His words were echoed by Diana and George Suchomel of Willimantic who held back tears adding "It's great to see everybody showing for somebody they didn't know. We're a great community here."

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