Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Alexander Fuller laid to rest

HYANNIS -- More than 100 mourners stood, heads bowed for final prayers, as the funeral Mass for Army Sergeant Alexander Fuller came to a formal close yesterday. Then Zack Hallet, 24, cleared his throat, quietly straightened his black suit, and pulled a piece of paper from his inside pocket.

He got up from his crowded pew in St. Francis Xavier Church and stood beside the ivory-draped coffin.

"Al was the funniest guy I knew," he said, his body shaking and his voice cracking. "He could make the worst situation funny."

Sobs from the pews grew louder.

"I can't tell you the number of bad days I had when Al would say, 'Need a hug?' " Hallet said, his face soaked with tears. "Well, Al, I could use one now."

Many of the mourners, including Governor Deval Patrick, were visibly pained.

Fuller, 21, was sitting in the passenger seat of a Humvee in Baghdad on Jan. 25 when a bomb exploded and killed him.

He died two days after he had called his wife, Anastacia, 19, to tell her how beautiful she looked pregnant. He planned to name his first child Alice when she is born in April, relatives said.

Yesterday, Anastacia Fuller walked slowly behind the coffin carrying the body of the man she married two years ago, as the ceremony began.

Prayers were read and hymns sung as mourners prayed for understanding.

"By the way we live our lives, we say something," said the Rev. Thomas Frechette from the pulpit. Alexander Fuller, he said, loved so deeply that he wanted to give the world something back.

"He was not going to be talked out of putting himself at risk," Frechette said. "Recognizing what he thought was valuable, his family, his friends, his country, he chose to defend them. To protect them. . . . I am humbled that he decided that we are worth the price of his life."

As a teenager, Fuller, who was born in New Bedford and raised in Centerville, bounced around before earning his GED and joining the Army in June 2004 with hope of one day becoming a police officer, family members said.

Hallet recalled the five necklaces, the gold teeth, and the hottest rap CDs that Fuller, a boxer and lover of hip-hop, adored.

"He loved his bling," Hallet said, describing Fuller as his best friend and as close as a brother.

When Fuller was 15 and met Anastacia at a dance, he was convinced that she was the one he would marry, Hallet said.

"He loved his Stacey," said Hallet. "She was going to be his forever."

Fuller was buried in Bourne National Cemetery.

From the Globe

Related Link:
Alexander H. Fuller dies of injuries from I.E.D.