CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - Hundreds of people came out to Spring Grove Cemetery Saturday for the funeral of a Korean War veteran they’d never even met.
Cemetery representatives say 90-year-old Hezekiah Perkins has no immediate family. His distant relatives live out of town and couldn’t attend his funeral.
Since his family couldn’t be there, the cemetery asked members of the community to come out and say a final farewell.
A cavalcade of more than a hundred veterans on motorcycles escorted the body of Army Private First Class Perkins to his final resting place.
Perkins purchased his burial plot 20 years ago when he lived in Cincinnati.
The donated burial vault memorialized Perkins, who died of natural causes on May 4.
His daughter watched the service via social media. Perkins’ family requested he be buried with full military honors.
“She is just in tears. She is so grateful and moved by the kindness and and the love and support of the military family and everybody else that came out," Lynay Straughn, Funeral Director, Spring Grove Cemetery said.
Spring Grove Cemetery staff say they had no idea their call to come honor Perkins would turn into this.
“It started out as a little bitty idea and it just mushroomed into hundreds of people," Straughn said.
An estimated 400 people surrounded Perkins’ grave.
“No one should ever leave this world alone and we will not let a fellow veteran leave this world alone," Pat Bushman, American Legion Post 630, Blue Ash, said.
“My heart just told me you got to come and see this man off for serving his country," Kevin Moneace, Hamilton resident, said.
“We didn’t want him to have a sendoff with no one here so we just wanted to make sure he had a proper burial," Walter Simms, Hamilton resident, said.
Suzanne Koehne drove from Louisville for the service.
“It being Memorial Day weekend it was the right thing to do to come up and honor his life," Koehne said.
After the playing of the traditional taps, the funeral director accepted the folded flag on behalf of Perkins’ family.
The funeral director says Perkins can rest in peace knowing that he was not alone.