Camden Honors a Fallen Hero

By Jerry Walsh

      CAMDEN, N.Y. (AP) - Hundreds of mourners packed an upstate New York church Tuesday to pay last respects to a 21-year-old Marine killed in Iraq.

      Sergeant Elisha Parker was killed in a roadside bomb attack near Fallujah on May 4th. He was on his third tour of duty in Iraq, serving as a combat engineer. He had been based at Camp Pendleton in California.

      Donna Parker said her son "lived with a fullness that touched many individuals." She said he will be remembered for his unpredictable humor, athleticism, loyalty and maturity.

      Click on the links below to watch portions of Tuesday's Funeral

Recessional from Church

Donna Parker
Eli's Mother

Isaiah and Andrew Parker
Eli's Borthers

Dr. Richard Allen - Part 1
Father of Eli's Girlfriend

Dr. Richard Allen - Part 2
Father of Eli's Girlfriend

Master Sgt. Manuel Diaz
U.S. Marine Corps
 

      He was a 2002 graduate of Camden Central School and joined the Marine Corps immediately upon graduating from high school. Camden, a village of 25-hundred in Oneida County, turned out in force over the past few days to honor their native son.

      On Monday, more than a thousand school children lined the streets as Parker's casket was driven slowly the mile from the funeral home to the Abundant Life Community Church.
     
      (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

**Story from Monday**

People living in the small community of Camden have been lining up to pay their respects to the family of a fallen hero.
    
21-year old Eli Parker was killed in a roadside bomb attack near Fallujah earlier this month.
    
Tonight, final farewells.  Friends, family and neighbors of Eli Parker showed up to pay their respects not only to Sergeant Parker but his family.
     
Today's wet weather didn't deter anyone; the sidewalks were packed outside the Abundant Life Community Church.
  
Flags were seen everywhere in Camden today. Especially out side the church that held Sergeant Parker’s body.  All day people filtered in for the calling hours of their fallen hero.
    
Men and women were seen proudly wearing their marine uniforms as well.  Busses were even used today in expectation of not only a large crowd, but also transporting people who were unable to get themselves there.  People living in the village today said they weren't surprised by the turnout.    

Calling hours for sergeant parker are expected to continue tonight from 6:00pm-9:00pm at the Abundant Life Church in Camden.  Tuesday Sergeant Parker will be laid to rest for good. The funeral will start at 10:00am at the same Church in Camden.

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