Family, friends, strangers gather to honor Louisville Marine killed in combat


by Michelle Arnold

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 25 at 5:40 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky.(WHAS11) -- A local Marine killed in Afghanistan was laid to rest Wednesday. Corporal Aaron Faust was killed April 15 while supporting a combat mission.

Hundreds of people gathered; friends and family were there of course, but the streets were lined with people who had never met Faust. Veterans and residents of the Germantown neighborhood stood in front of Our Mother of Sorrows to pay their respects to a brave young man.

They came armed with flags, our country's weapon that carries a spirit that no enemy can defeat. Their message silent but strong.

For veteran Don Hoffman, who said his grandson is a Marine stationed overseas, the sacrifice Faust made hits close to home.

“They’re giving their life; they're giving everything for us,” Hoffman said.

A veteran who spent 27 years in the service showed up to pay his respects, but with a heavy heart.

“It's a shame, shame it had to happen but it does. Hopefully it will all work out for the better,” George Pott said.

Hundreds of cars packed the parking lot; the street was quiet as people poured into the church.

DeSales High School students that participate in the military program at Faust's Alma mater came to show their support. They said the loss of one of their alumni was unexpected but he will be remembered as a hero.  

“I was shocked to hear that somebody from our school died like that in Afghanistan but then again I was proud to know he died serving our country and that he came from our school,” student Dylan Byrd said.

After Faust's fellow Marines carried his body out of the church and hoisted it into the hearse, they turned to give a final salute to a brother.

The Patriot Guard Riders sat together; all in a line. Their motorcycles poised to lead the procession to the cemetery to protect the family of the man who protected and served.

“We owe his family a debt that cannot be repaid. All we can do is try to support them and ease their loss in any way we can,” Ernest Payne said.

As the procession made its way down Eastern Parkway to the cemetery, the quiet crowd began to disperse, but only after holding their flags up - proud and strong - for Corporal Faust - the Marine, but also to show they won't forget their neighbor, Aaron.

“He's from this neighborhood. I didn't have the privilege of knowing him or meeting him but we still feel a great loss,” Hoffman said.

Faust was buried at Calvary Cemetery. His family released the following statement, "the family of our son and brother appreciate the many expressions of sympathy extended to us during this very difficult time. We ask that you continue to remember us and all of those serving our country in your thoughts and prayers."