Thursday, 4:30 PM
Funerals draw mourners today for two New England soldiers
(AP Photo/Cherly Senter)
Nicole Conte (right) was escorted out of St. Anne-St. Augustin Catholic church in Manchester, N.H., after the funeral of her son, Marine Lance Corporal Ryan T. McCaughn. The 19-year-old died on Nov. 7 in Al Anbar province in Iraq.
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent
Funerals marked the start of a somber Thanksgiving week for the families of two New England soldiers who will be buried today after their deaths earlier this month in Iraq.
In Worcester, Michael A. Cerrone followed in his father's footsteps and became a paratrooper. The black belt in martial arts and avid surfer graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 2004 and joined the Army's 82d Airborne Division, in which his father serves as a brigadier general.
The 24-year-old first lieutenant and platoon leader had served three months in Iraq. He died Nov. 12 when a bomb exploded in a nearby car and destroyed his Humvee.
Cerrone, who was single and lived in Clarksville, Tenn., was buried today at Notre Dame Cemetery in Worcester, where his mother and father grew up and both his maternal and paternal grandparents live.
Cerrone had been serving in Company A, Second Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division. He spent much of his childhood at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where his father, James A. Cerrone, had been stationed.
In Manchester, N.H., there was a funeral at St. Anne-St. Augustin Church for Lance Corporal Ryan T. McCaughn, 19, who died on Nov. 7 in Iraq's Anbar Province.
McCaughn served in the Marine First Battalion, Sixth Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force base at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
This weekend, Marines stood guard by his flag-draped casket as mourners offered condolences to his friends and family, the Manchester Union Leader reported on its website. They wore yellow ribbons marked with the Marine's initials and donned black T-shirts that bore McCaughn's image on the back. The shirts read, "We are proud, thankful and will miss you fiercely. You will not be forgotten."
The hearse carrying McCaughn's casket passed his alma mater, Central High School, on its way to the funeral. He enlisted during his senior year.
Burial followed at Pine Grove Cemetery, where Marine Corps officers honored McCaughn with rifle fire and bagpipes.
(AP Photo/U.S. Army)
First Lieutenant Michael A. Cerrone, 24, who died Nov. 12 in Iraq, will be buried today in Worcester.
(AP Photo/Union Leader, File)
Marine Lance Corporal Ryan McCaughn, 19, will be buried today in Manchester; N.H., after his death in Iraq.