PORTLAND -- Hundreds of people on Monday honored a 22-year-old soldier from Beaverton who was killed in Afghanistan.
Army Spc. John Pelham was one of two soldiers killed Feb. 12 by small arms fire in Kapisa Province. They were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.
Pelham was a 2010 graduate of Beaverton's Sunset High School.
His public funeral was packed with people Monday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel at 4195 SW 99th Avenue in Beaverton.
Pelham's parents, siblings and fiancee all called him a hero and said he was passionate about serving his country. Friends said the funeral was a beautiful tribute to the young soldier.
Even those who didn't know Pelham wanted to pay their respects as the flag-draped casket was carried past them.
"Each one of us, every time we go on a mission, we give our heartfelt condolences because we feel the pain of a fallen comrade," said veteran Butch Scott.
Gov. John Kitzhaber also ordered flags at public institutions lowered to half-staff Monday in honor of Pelham
Following the funeral, a procession took Pelham's body to Willamette National Cemetery in Portland for burial. Several hundred people were standing along the route, holding flags.
Local freeways had rolling closures as police and emergency service providers escorted the remains of Pelham to Willamette National Cemetery.