Poplar Bluff honors fallen Marine - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff honors fallen Marine

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POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

It was a day to honor a man who died serving our country. People of Poplar Bluff and surrounding areas all stood together to show their support of fallen Marine, Staff Sergeant Eric Summers.

A sense of respect filled the streets as people gathered outside the church where the memorial service was held. They showed their gratitude, pride, and support for the fallen hero.

"He was a phenomenal example of someone that shows honor and courage and just what an American is," Lindsey Hancock, a local school teacher, said.

Community members stood outside the church through the memorial service, then watched in reverence as the procession passed by.

"We just want to show that they're not alone, that everyone in town supports them," Zach Boyer said.

"[We are here] just to support his family and just to pay tribute to a true hero," Mike Moffitt, Battalion Chief with Poplar Bluff Fire Department, said.

The supporters were sending a message to the Summers family.

"Thank you for the sacrifice of your son, your loved one, you deserve all the respect in the world and God bless you," Nancy Clayton said.

Many who have never even met Staff Sergeant Summers say they will always remember his sacrifice.

"He died for our country and that's the greatest honor you can have and to be here and support him and his family at this time is an honor for us," Doug Anderson, with the Regulators Motorcycle Club, said.

The community is grieving together.

"Everybody here today has shown that we do still have compassion in this country," Donald Black, The acting president with The Missouri Widows Sons, said.

For those who have also served, they consider Staff Sergeant Eric Summers to be family.

"The Marine Corps teaches you, once a marine, always a marine. We are all brothers and he is a brother," Jeff Rolland, Deputy Chief of Police, said.

The supporters agree that Staff Sergeant Summers was a man to truly be honored and respected.

"We take our freedom for granted and that freedom came at a cost," Bob Case, Poplar Bluff Jr. High School Principal, said.

Case says he wants Summers sacrifice to be remembered for generations to come.

"We don't want any death to be in vain, and I appreciate my rights and my freedoms that he and others like him have given me for the sacrifice they have put forth, and I want these kids to see that," Case said.

The people who stood up along the street were saying "thank you" to Staff Sergeant Eric Summers for paying the price for freedom.

"He's what is right with this county. He's a role model. We need to look up to him." Deputy Chief Rolland said.

Staff Sergeant Summers was killed during a training accident in November. He served 13 years in the Marines. He is survived by his wife and two-year old daughter.

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