Saturday, 2:15 PM
(George Rizer/Globe Staff)
Private Daniel Preach (left in photo at head of casket) was a pallbearer at the funeral today of his brother, Lance Corporal Kevin T. Preach. Their mother, Laurie Hayes, is visible in the background.
By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff
BRIDGEWATER -- Messages of support for Kevin T. Preach’s family were posted throughout town this morning, on signs in front of gas stations, restaurants and hotels, and on posters held by small children and adults lining downtown streets.
About 2,000 mourners stood silently as a hearse carrying the fallen Marine's body moved slowly around a rotunda at the town’s Central Square, with a dozen Marines in dress uniform walking in cadence alongside the vehicle. The hearse stopped in front of the Central Square Congregational Church, where the flag-draped coffin was carried into the church by pallbearers.
Preach, 21, died earlier this month when an improvised explosive device detonated last month near his Humvee on patrol in Afghanistan.
The small church held only about 250 people, and many mourners either watched the funeral from a monitor inside an adjoining church room or stood outside, talking amongst themselves about the first Bridgewater resident to die in a war since Vietnam.
Inside, Preach’s younger brother, Daniel James Preach, also a Marine, talked about how he gained direction from Kevin.
“I followed in my brother’s footsteps, in football and the Marines. He never let me win at anything and now I understand, because that made me a better person…”
The funeral, attended by Governor Deval Patrick, lasted about an hour.