CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - The nation said farewell to fallen Central Marine Taylor Conrad on Tuesday.
Conrad was a 2012 graduate of Central High School and everyone who knew him tells us he was the heart and soul of his school and town.
So, it was no surprise to see the processional route lined with families and students from Central High holding flags as Conrad was escorted to the Louisiana National Cemetery.
"Just so proud of Taylor. Proud of the school. Sorrow, obviously because a great young man has lost his life, paid the ultimate price, but Conrad is what we want our students to be," said Central High Principal David Prescott, who was along the route said,
Strangers, students, and friends alike, united in sorrow and a deep, profound gratitude for the life of Marine Lance Cpl. Taylor Conrad.
"I don't know the young man. I'm paying my respects and letting the family know that we care about them and love them," said Harry B.
"You never know what moment your life was going to depend on them. They put their life on the line every day," said Doug Nobles, the state captain of the Louisiana Patriot Guard.
As the rumble of the bikes of the Louisiana Patriot Guard gives way to the solemn 3-gun volley of the Marines. So does the mission shift for the people standing with American flags in hand into a new duty to always honor and always remember the service of their fallen hero.
RELATED: Fallen Marine's family raising money for memorial special needs playground
"We always live with the fear that we're going to get the knock on the door. lt is our humble responsibility that when a family does receive that knock that we're there to support them, from this point going forward," said Denice Singleton, with Blue Star Moms.
"Taylor is what we want every student to be. He was a great role model. He helped us as a student, he's helped as an adult with service to his country and while it's sad, we celebrate his life and everyone he touched," said Prescott.
The marine had a passion for working with special needs kids in Central. His family is raising money to build a special needs playground in his memory.