Homecoming for a Hometown Hero - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Caruthersville, MO - Will Carter Reports

Homecoming for a Hometown Hero

August 29, 2007 - Posted at 6:40 p.m. CDT

CARUTHERSVILLE/HAYTI, MO-"He was just awesome in everything. He loved everybody and everybody loved him," said friend, Farrah Boyd.

That could be seen for miles Tuesday morning as a slowly moving motorcade weaved through the streets of Caruthersville and Hayti, Missouri.

Hundreds, even thousands lined the streets to pay their respects to a hero.

"He was just a young, full of energy, vivacious fella who loved life and lived everyday loving life," said Caruthersville Mayor, Diane Sayre.

But the life of 21-year-old Corporal Rickey Bell was cut tragically short on August 22 while serving in Iraq.

"He loved it, he itched every time he came home to go back. He wouldn't be here a weekend til he was ready to go back. He loved the military," said Boyd.

It was his love for his country that led him back home one last time.

Around town signs mark his life, and yellow ribbons mark his sacrifice.

From Caruthersville to Hayti, Missouri--Red, white, blue, and a whole lot of it. Even flags were flying at half staff to remember fallen Corporal Rickey Bell.

"It was overwhelming to see the amount of people that realized what a hero Rickey is. It was just unbelievable," said Boyd.

But now so many are paying tribute to the final chapter of a life which was sacrificed to keep ours free. 

"As a community, we hope in some small way that we can come together in some way to give them the support they need with a loss of life, such a young life," said Sayre.

A life that touched the hearts of many, young to old.

"Everything he did was funny. He was full of life. He didn't pull away from anybody. He opened up to everybody. Everyone was his friend," said Boyd.

Funeral services for Bell will be held Wednesday, August 29 at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Caruthersville.  The burial will follow afterwards at Woodlawn Cemetary in Hayti.


Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.

 

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