WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Flags at city buildings flew at half staff Thursday in honor of a Wilmington man who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country.
A flag held up by fire trucks hung over the entrance of St. Mark Catholic Church while hundreds gathered inside and out.
Sgt. 1st Class Edward Kramer was formally laid to rest Thursday morning. The 39-year-old was one of four National Guard Members who died after an IED went off near their Humvee in Baghdad last week.
"I could care less about the politics," said Carl Sisco, a member of the Patriot Guard. "It's about the soldier. They're the ones actually doing the dirty work."
Sgt. Kramer was a marine, a firefighter, and a member of the National Guard, but he was also a husband, father, and a son.
People who didn't even know the sergeant lined up outside Wilmington National Cemetery to pay their respects.
"It's important to us because my dad was in the army, and I think it's important to come here," said Kayla Finnergy, who's father is in the military. "He did a lot, he helped us, he saved our lives."
Kramer was saluted inside the cemetery grounds as a round of guns fired.
"It hits us very hard," said Scott Brown, Sunny Point Fire Chief. "We rally around each other and try to show the family how much the individual means to us and how much we're going to miss him."
Many people describe Sgt. Kramer as a hero who died in the line of duty. Now, he'll rest at Wilmington National Cemetery with other heroes.
"We'll miss him mostly on our emergency calls," said Brown. "He was a great firefighter, and EMT. He knew his job well, so I knew when we were on call I could count on him to do what needed to be done."
A memorial fund has been set up for his family. Donations can be dropped off at any First Citizens Bank or mailed to:
Ed Kramer Memorial Fund
First Citizens Bank
P.O. Box 1619
Wilmington, NC 28401