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ERIN BROADFOOT of Andover salutes as the body of Sgt. David Gordon of Williamsfield Township was driven around Andover Square enroute to Titusville. Gordon was recently killed in Iraq and will be buried tomorrow in Titusville.

WARREN DILLAWAY
The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Funeral for Sgt. David gordon today in Pa.

By STACY MILLBERG

Staff Writer

smillberg@starbeacon.com



ANDOVER - - The American flags around Andover Square all hang at half mast in honor of a local hero who gave his life in Iraq.

Hundreds of residents lined the square Thursday morning to pay their final respects to a fallen soldier. The area fell silent as the body of U.S. Army Sgt. David Gordon was escorted around the square, en route to Titusville, Pa., where his funeral will be held today at the Titusville First Presbyterian Church. Lt. Col. Chaplain Kenneth Schmidt will officiate the 11 a.m. service.

Gordon, 23, of Williamsfield, was killed Sept. 8 when the Humvee he was driving rolled over a landmine outside of Baghdad, Iraq. Gordon, who was on his second tour of duty in Iraq, and three other soldiers with him died in the explosion. His unit was in a convoy on maneuvers at the time.

"It's a sorry thing we have to be into the war," said Harry Moore of the VFW Pymatuning Post 9519 in Andover. "I don't think we should be in this war in the first place. As a veteran, I know what they're going through. I hope and pray it will end soon."

Moore along with about 10 other VFW members stood on the square to honor Gordon.

"I think it's only fair we treat these guys like this," said Post Commander Tom Linn. "For what they've done for our country."

Gordon's death hit home for Sue Phleger of Wayne Township. Phleger's son has been in the Air Force for six years. Her daughter also served in the Air Force.

"I feel like he's my own kid," she said. "My kids are that age."

Phleger's son is stationed in Nebraska. She said he is fortunate he is not in Iraq.

"We're all very sad right now," she said. "It's sad that (Gordon) died, but he died for all of us. Without him we have nothing."

"He made the ultimate sacrifice," said Cornell Edwards.

About 85 to 100 students at Pymatuning Valley High School walked to the square to pay tribute to Gordon.

"We thought our high school kids should come down," said Superintendent Jake Rose. "There are a number of (Gordon's) family members in the schools."

Rose said the school administration thought is was a nice gesture to honor Gordon.

"It drives home the reality of this," he said. "We're just here to support the family."

Gordon will be buried at the Grove Hill Cemetery in Oil City, Pa. Contributions to the family may be made in Gordon's name at any Andover Bank branch.

Star Beacon Print Edition: 9/22/2006

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