High school students hold funeral for homeless veteran

WEST ROXBURY, MA (WBZ/CNN) – High school seniors held a funeral for a homeless veteran who died on the streets, and who had no living family members or friends.

When the students from Catholic Memorial High School learned the Army veteran would be buried with no one in attendance, they decided to hold a service to honor him.

Although the students only learned the veteran’s first name, they felt John deserved funeral and held mass in the school’s chapel. John was buried with full military honors.

“We have a lot of veterans in my own family so I know the sacrifice he made for the country and I know the service he committed in the years he committed to serving our country,” said senior class president Will Padden.

Padden also said that the students were there to be John’s family.

“For us paying homage to a veteran, to bring him to our campus, to provide the burial rights he deserves, and to honor his legacy and to help our boys realize we have to stand with those who are marginalized,” said the school’s president, Peter Folan.

The students served as pallbearers and escorted John’s flag-draped coffin was brought to the waiting hearse as Taps played.

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