ALDEN (WKBW) Veterans Day is the time of year when the community gathers to remember all of those serving, past and present, both domestic and abroad. That is exactly what happened in Alden on Monday as the community said goodbye to a fallen hero.
Saint John the Baptist Church in Alden was full as family, friends, community members, and fellow veterans gathered to say goodbye to Army Specialist Brett Gornewicz.
"You have inspired me to be the best man I can be. You will not find a group of friends more proud and inspired of a friend than we are of you Brett Gornewicz," friend Robert Jasmusz said during the service.
27 year old Gornewicz was serving in Afghanistan when his unit was attacked. He died from his injuries last weekend.
Tears were shed, but also laughter, the way family and friends say Brett always dealt with things.
"That's what he would've wanted. Brett was one of those guys who showed he cared about you by making fun of you and laughing with you and telling jokes and playing pranks. That's just who he was. He loved to smile, he loved to make other people smile, and he always had an upbeat attitude toward everything," friend Andrew Smith said after the service.
And in the wake of tragedy, the community has come together to show its support, not lost on those closest to the soldier.
"It's been overwhelming and emotional just to see how much love the city of Buffalo has provided to us and our family," Brett's sister Cassandra Cranston said.