Family, friends, even strangers gather to say goodbye to a hero - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Family, friends, even strangers gather to say goodbye to a hero

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Sgt. Michael Cable Sgt. Michael Cable

Hundreds gathered in Owensboro Saturday afternoon to pay their final respects to Sergeant Michael Cable, an Owensboro soldier who was killed in Afghanistan. 

Saturday afternoon Sgt. Cable's family and friends gathered around his casket at Elmwood Cemetery to say goodbye. It was a very large funeral procession, as the Owensboro community came out in droves to celebrate a man they call a hero.

"It's beautiful how all these people came together to support them," funeral attendee, Brittany Johnson said.

"Half these people probably didn't even know him. I didn't even know him," Jamie Reep said.

Even though not everyone here knew Michael Cable, it didn't really matter. For many, simply being a part of the same community is enough to support each other.

One man 14 News spoke to says he spoke to Cable's parents Saturday morning before the funeral and he says the family is very appreciative of the community's support.

"We stand here on Saturday with such great pride for this young man, and for this family, and for this country we serve," Army chaplain, Jeff Hastings said.

The words of Hastings, a man who didn't know Michael Cable, but who shared a community with him.

"I was able to meet Michael's mom and dad. I said to them, 'If I can do anything for you, let me know,' and I gave them my business card. His mom said, 'Pray for us.' So, we took a moment and bowed our heads and prayed together for them. We'll continue to do so," Hastings said.

Hastings was one of over 400 people who went to Cable's funeral Saturday afternoon. Like Hastings, many of these attendees didn't know Michael, but felt compelled to honor their local hero.

"It's really a blessing to have such people that are so brave and courageous. It's just great that there are people like that who care genuinely about half the people who they don't even know, and are fighting for their freedoms. It's really great," Johnson said.

"We're just basically here to support the family and get this hero to his final resting place," says Jim Clendenning with the Patriot Guard.

250 Patriot Guard riders gathered outside of Haley-McGinnis Funeral Home to escort the procession, while soldiers and former classmates of Sgt. Cable gathered at his grave site to say goodbye and offer their support for his family. 
"I think they were moved by the showing of support. You know, the community of Owensboro has been fantastic. You can tell that Owensboro hasn't forgotten what it means to serve our country. There's a lot of pride in this community. That's why I'm glad to live here," Hastings said.

"Most of us here don't really know Michael, but we know that he's one of our brothers. He served our country and he gave the ultimate sacrifice," Clendenning said.

Taps and a 21-gun salute were included in the graveside service, as many saluted and knelt before Cable's casket, one last time.

"America is proud of what this young man has done for this country," Clendenning said.

14 News spoke to some of Cable's family on the phone earlier Saturday. They are understandably not willing to speak to us on camera at this time, but his sister, Wendy, says they would like to thank everyone who has showed their family support this past week and on Saturday.

They say Michael got the send off he deserved.

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