A plea for help to honor a veteran who passed away with only a few friends resulted in a huge community gathering.
Veterans descended on the Weatherford Young Funeral Home in Brick, New Jersey, to honor Edwin Basterl on Thursday and Hannah Symanski, who knew Basterl, was amazed, Patch.com reported Thursday.
Basterl, 84, died a few weeks ago but did not have any family.
According to his obituary, “Ed was a Dental Assistant and served in the Army and Navy from 1956-1969. Ed loved going to all kinds of restaurants and would really enjoy the variety of foods that were offered. Ed had a warm and kind heart that we will dearly miss forever.”
Meanwhile, Symanski was saddened because her family would be the only people at the funeral. She sent out a plea to the community and veterans to attend but feared it might not be in time.
However, things turned out very different on Thursday because when the service began, the parking lot was full and veterans filled the room at the funeral home to salute the man who was generous to so many people.
“My guess is that more than 75 veterans and friends were there including about 25 American Legion Post 129 members,” commented Mel Russen, a veteran who was there.
Basterl’s internment was held at Brig. General William C. Doyle New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery located in Wrightstown, the obituary noted.
Social media users were pleased when they learned about people attending the funeral, one person writing, “So happy to see this! RIP sir.”
“Happy to see this. There is still respect in this country and it needs to be seen. RIP sir,” another commented.
Symanski explained that she and her loved ones could not believe the response and spoke about how much they loved Basterl.
“He was a great person. We’re glad we were able to honor him so much today,” she noted. “We’re thankful to everyone who came and who shared his story. We’re just so grateful.”
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