Thursday, 4:30 PM
Funeral honors for Franklin Green Beret
By Ryan Haggerty, Globe Correspondent
The Franklin Town Common, filled with dozens of people holding American flags, was silent this afternoon.
"He's coming," said a man, and with that, the people stepped to the curb along Union Street, watching as the hearse carrying the body of Staff Sergeant Robert R. Pirelli passed under a giant American flag hanging from the extended ladders of two fire trucks and made its way to St. Mary's Church.
Pirelli, 29, a Green Beret killed by small arms fire in Iraq on Aug. 15, was remembered at a funeral Mass as a humble, honest, and dependable man, and a soldier whose devotion to duty surprised no one.
"Your courage, leadership, and sacrifice will never be forgotten," said Colonel Darcie Rogers, commander of the Army's 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), in which Pirelli served.
"It was a privilege to serve with you in our nation's Army, and an honor to count you among the ranks of those who earned the Green Beret," Rogers said in a brief eulogy after reading a poem written by Pirelli's family.