The Palm Beach Post story of how the town of Immokalee, Fla., honored their hometown hero Army Sgt. Linda Lamour Pierre, who was killed in Afghanistan, begins:***
The concrete block houses on Leed Avenue look like so many others across Florida, but there's no mistaking Jean Baptiste Lamour and Elvina Pierre's modest home. A large American flag covers the front door, and the whole town knows about the heartbreak inside.
Staff writer Staci Sturrock continued: In a gesture of pride interwoven with grief, the 59-year-old Lamour hung the flag the day before he and Pierre buried their daughter, Army Sgt. Linda Lamour Pierre.
The 28-year-old soldier was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 16, and two weeks later, hundreds of mourners attended her funeral in this small Collier County community known for its tomato fields and farmworkers union.
Pierre’s family saw a consoling blur of stars and stripes as throngs lined the streets during the 25-mile ride to the cemetery.
Community leaders established the Sgt. Linda Pierre Memorial Scholarship Foundation.
Sturrock wrote: Contributions to the fund spiked following the May 1 killing of Osama bin Laden – a little more than 24 hours after Pierre was buried with military honors.
Tim Nance, who helped establish the scholarship, said: "It was a perfect storm of patriotism... People wanted to do something besides waving flags on the side of the road."
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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer who lives in Northeast Ohio. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.