Hundreds of servicemen, politicians and community members gathered at St. Cecilia this morning to celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial for CPO Brian Bill, a Navy SEAL who was killed Aug. 6 in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Stamford police and local fire departments assisted with the setup of the funeral, in addition to maintaining a security presence that blocked off Newfield Avenue in front of St. Cecilia's boundaries for more than 20 minutes.
Dr. Michael Parry and Patricia Parry, Bill's stepfather and mother, respectively, released a formal statement:
"Today, we mourn the loss of our son, brother, and hero. We also celebrate Brian's life and honor his courage and his service to our country. He died alongside his friends, his teammates, some of the bravest men this world has ever known."
"Brian joined the United States Navy because he loved this country, the people who lived here, and the freedoms we all have. He was incredibly brave and determined, with a fierce sense of humor and had amazing opportunities in life because of his strengths and talents. He was truly special, not only to our family, but to this country. We are providing no other details at this time because we want to protect those brave men and women who are still fighting for all of us. We request that our privacy be respected, as well as the privacy of all the families affected."
"We are deeply appreciative of the support we have received from our family, friends, our community of Stamford, and the U.S. Navy. Brian meant the world to us, and there will always be an emptiness in our hearts and souls."
Bill's final resting place will be Arlington National Cemetery, where he will be buried with full military honors.