Ming Sun laid to rest
Family and friends tonight are remembering a local soldier killed this month in Iraq. 20-year-old Ming Sun was laid to rest at Riverside National Cemetary this afternoon. Earlier, mourners gathered for his funeral at Forest Lawn Mortuary in Cathedral City. NewsChannel 3 has more on how Sun is being remembered as a hero.
Profound grief was evident on the faces of mourners at Ming Sun's funeral. But as hard as it was for the crowd to say goodbye, other words, like "friend," "hero" and simply "thank-you" were spoken in abundance.
"It's the most important responsibility we have in the military. To pay our respects to our fallen heroes."
Sun's funeral began with a slideshow presentation, walking mourners through his life from child to private first class in the US Army.
Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa then spoke to the family, offering her condolences.
"Ming will always be a part of the Cathedral City family."
After a touching eulogy, Ming Sun received several honors. The US Army presented his family with the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Finally, the Chinese-born soldier received possibly the greatest honor he would have wanted - US citizenship.
"All these years he's been here, he still wasn't a citizen and having granted citizenship after death, I think it was a very honorable thing."
Mourners later gathered outdoors, comforting one another. But the sadness was speckled with fond memories.
Sun's car was parked outside. Friends say it was a big part of his life.
"We'd always race, his car and all ours. Our little car club."
Racing brought Sun joy, as did friendship. Those who knew him said Sun was always smiling.
"He'd always be happy. Any situation, he'd always be happy."
"He was a very, very cheerful person. I never saw him have an angry mood or anything. He was always cheerful."
"He loved you more than anything in the world," mourners were told at Sun's memorial. "Remember that. Keep that in your heart and remember that always and forever."
From KESQ 3
Ming Sun remembered at school memorial
Ming Sun killed in ambush