21-Year-Old Private First Class Laid to Rest in Franklin

By Forrest Sanders | 

It was a gathering that brought together well over a hundred people.
A multitude of family, friends, and admiring community members came together Tuesday for the funeral of 21-year-old private first class Brian Gorham.

Brian died on New Year's Eve at San Antonio Hosptial from injuries sustained while serving in Afghanistan. Now, he's been laid to rest in Hillsdale Cemetary in Franklin. It was a procession where Brian was surrounded by family and friends who say he was a deeply honest and dedicated man.

It's Tuesday afternoon at Crafton Funeral Home and admiring community members, family, and friends are standing together for a man who stood for the country.

For many, it's a day for reflection.

"Brian will always be deeply and lovingly remembered in our community, and he should be in the world," says one Woodburn woman.

For others, it's a day for closure.

"I looked up to my big brother," says Henry Gorham. "He's with me, he'll always be with me, he'll be with our family, he'll be smiling and everything."

"Brian, today I honor you, I salute you, and I commend you to the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you," exclaimed one Bowling Green man.

"He stood up straight, and he knew what he believed in, and he never second guessed himself," says Brian's close friend, Justin Sykes. "That's what I always looked up to most. He was able to make a decision about his life and be 110 percent about it."

It's a difficult day for Brian's parents and the countless others who loved him, but some say they've found strength in the overwhelming support of the Woodburn community.

"I know Brian's looking down from heaven now and he's crying and thinking, ' Wow, they're doing this for me'," says Brian's close friend Lerissa Hall. "It just makes me feel so good to see everybody come together at a time like this."

During today's services, Brian's parents were presented with four medals including a purple heart and a bronze star.

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