Firefighters stood on top of their truck in the pouring rain, dozens of people lined up on thes viaducts from Knoxville to Fairfax County , well others joined in the escort of a procession of cars, all in honor of the US Army Sergeant Major. Ryan Knauss , one of the 13 service members who were killed in Afghanistan during an attack on Kabul airport last month.
The Fairfax County Police Department led the procession Thursday along I-66 East to I-495 South in Virginia, transporting the body from the native of Knoxville, 23 years old. at Arlington National Cemetery.
Before their departure, the police department says anyone wishing to show their respect "is requested to be present on the viaducts along the road.
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And the supporters were numerous to honor Knauss.
"When we heard about this hero who was killed in action in Afghanistan and found he was walking through our home in Fairfax County, we knew right away we had to find a way to pay him homage, "Police Chief Kevin Davis told 7News.
As the motorcade escorted the hearse down the highway, firefighters, police and community members lined up on each overpass along the road to show their support. A helicopter also flew over.
(Fairfax County Police)
Fire Chief John Butler also paid tribute to the fallen soldier.
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" As a Marine who is no longer in active service, and as the fire chief, those two worlds came together, "said the butler. "I also served in combat zones and saw many of my colleagues die in the line of duty, whenever any of these things happened it hit me.
Before being buried at Arlington National Cemetery at 1 p.m. on September 21, a separate funeral service will be held in Alexandria at the Mynatt Funeral Home. The time and date have not been
Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler will provide a escort to the funeral home.
"As a Knox County Sheriff and Veteran, I am honored to provide an escort to the Mynatt Funeral Home while transporting Master Sgt. Ryan Knauss from Knoxville to funeral home receiver in Alexandria. This young man deserves our honor and respect as he sacrificed his life in the service of our country, an escort is the least we can do to show our gratitude, says Spangler .
"I would like to publicly thank Mynatt Funeral Home for their generosity in transporting Master Sgt. Knauss. They are a real asset to our community. In closing, I want the family to know that we will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers, "added the Sheriff.