Franklin Mourners Line Streets As Soldier's Body Returns
Town Gathers For Vigil For Fallen Soldier
Video: Vigil Held For Soldier Slain In Afghanistan
FRANKLIN, N.H. --
A New Hampshire community paused Monday to remember a soldier killed in combat as the body of National Guard Cpl. Scott Dimond was escorted to his hometown of Franklin.
Dimond was killed in action in Afghanistan one week ago.
Franklin residents lined the streets as the long, somber caravan made its way through town. Flags were at half-staff as the town mourned its first casualty of the war.
A row of Franklin police officers paid their respects. Dimond had an 18-year career with the Franklin Police Department, and his colleagues said he was well loved and respected by all who knew him.
Retired Police Chief Douglas Boyd helped Dimond rise from dispatcher to sergeant.
"His legacy is going to be he was the best of the best," Boyd said. "He was a wonderful family man, a great individual. Just an absolute tragedy, an absolute tragedy."
The vigil along the streets of Franklin was unplanned. Word of mouth brought groups of people from neighboring towns. New National Guard troops who trained with Dimond before he was deployed also joined in.
"We said, 'When you come back, we'll have a party waiting for you,'" said Pvt. Darren Dowers. "He's coming back and were pretty much having a party for him anyways."
Helen Bryson said she is close to the Dimond family and also has two sons in the military. One deploys in January, and her sons were on her mind as she watched Dimond's body return to Franklin.
"But that's what they want to do," Bryson said. "I'll support them."
The town of Franklin is offering its support to Dimond's wife, his four children and his parents, who had already buried one son, the victim of a drowning accident.
Calling hours will be held Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Franklin Middle School, 200 Sanborn St., in Franklin.
A funeral service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Franklin Middle School. He will then be buried with full military honors in Franklin Cemetery in Franklin.