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Saying goodbye to fallen Elkhart soldier

Published On: Jan 02 2014 05:35:01 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 02 2014 07:56:45 PM CST

A fallen Elkhart soldier is being remembered. WSBT's Ted Land filed this live report from outside Thursday's visitation at Granger Community Church.


Hundreds of people paid their respects to a soldier from Elkhart who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Visitation took place Thursday for Army Staff Sergeant Jesse Williams at Granger Community Church.

It was open to the public, and as we've learned over the past few weeks, so many people are making an effort to honor Williams, including many people who didn't know him or his family.

Other military families were paying their respects, neighbors from Elkhart where Sgt. Williams grew up, as well as members of the Patriot Guard who were at the visitation with dozens of American flags. 

The funeral will be Friday at 1 p.m., and police are expecting an even bigger gathering.

"Our goal is just to make sure that everybody who comes here is able to pay their respects to the soldiers that died in the line of duty," said Mishawaka Police Lt. Tim Williams.

They say they'll also be making sure any protestors, who have made appearances at other military funerals, are obeying the law.

The focus the next few days will be on Sgt. Williams and his family as they prepare to lay him to rest after a very difficult few weeks.