Flags are flying at half staff across the state of Washington in honor of 82nd Airborne paratrooper Jarrod Lallier, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 18.
"Just know that that young man died so that we could enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy," Korean War veteran Douglas Jones said at the Spokane VFW, where the flag was at half staff in Specialist Lallier's honor.
Lallier's funeral was held Monday afternoon at Life Center Church in northwest Spokane and he was laid to rest later in the day at Fairmount Cemetery.
The Life Center is a giant church and every single one of the seats in the sanctuary was filled and then more were standing to pay their respects to the fallen soldier. Lallier had a passion for military service and, knowing he would go into combat, left behind a letter for his family in case he didn't make it back, a letter the family shared at his funeral.
Lallier was remembered as a cheerful, hard working man who loved God and his family, which is why he left a letter with his siblings in case he didn't make it home. Part of the letter was a poem that he said would help his family find closure.
One line read, "I'll weep for those I leave behind but don't you weep for me."
He also asked that his life be celebrated; that's what Lori Newman wanted to do by attending his burial at Fairmount Cemetery. She didn't know Lallier, but her sons did.
"Just out of respect for what Jarrod has done for our country, his gift of self for us, it's an honor to be here and support whatever way I can just by my presence," she said.
July 3 would have been Lallier's birthday. As a child, he always believed the fireworks on Independence Day were in celebration of him and at his funeral service it was asked that this July 4th everyone celebrate Lallier's life and legacy.