WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds of people came out to honor U.S. Army Specialist Antonio Moore Tuesday in a moving ceremony as he was laid to rest.
Family, friends, first responders and people from all around the Cape Fear came out to pay their respects.
Some of Moore’s friends say he died in an honorable way, and he would want them to celebrate his life.
Moore, better known as ‘Tony’ to his friends and family, enlisted in the army after graduating from Hoggard High School.
He was killed in a vehicle rollover accident while serving in Syria. He made his final journey home last week.
The community came out in thousands over the weekend to honor him with a procession through Wilmington.
Union Missionary Baptist Church was packed for Moore’s funeral Tuesday.
One friend and former teammate says he would always go to Moore for football advice, and he was a great mentor to him.
“Outside of practice and school, he was always smiling and happy,” McKenzie Frazier said. “Like they said in the service, he would offer to take his comrades home, even if it was hours away. He would do the same for me when I didn’t have a ride home. He was just a genuinely nice, caring person.”
Another friend and former teammate says he looked up to Moore. He says Moore was the only older player and classmate who would check in on him and ask how he was doing.
“He was a spark,” Landon Romano said. “He was a light. With all the darkness and everything that’s going on right now, he was a light. We lost that light, but he’s still going to be with us, and I can still feel him inside of me. I know everybody else can too. I know he’s here with us. I can feel him. It’s amazing.”
After the funeral, there was a procession through the city ending in a graveside service at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
Governor Roy Cooper made a surprise visit to the service to pay his respects to Moore and his family.
Throughout this last week and a half, the Moore family has expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of support from the community.
A donation website has been set up in honor of Tony. His family asks that all the donations go towards the Hoggard football program.