OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The loss of Cpl. Daegan Page has laid heavy on the heart of Omaha since the news came that he would not be coming home.
On Thursday night, the community was able to say its goodbyes during a public visitation at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Vicar Doug Rothgeb knew Page from the time he was 6-years-old and who has taken on the responsibility of hosting the visitation and funeral. He said he wanted the people who passed through for the visitation to leave with a better idea of who Page was beyond his role as a Marine and with a sense of connectedness.
“We’re grieving as a nation," Rothgeb said. "We’re grieving as a community, we’re grieving as a congregation, we’re grieving as a family and friends. And we want everyone to know that we’re grieving together.”
In the sanctuary where Page spent Sunday mornings, surrounded by boyhood photos and with a brother in arms keeping watch for every second, a final farewell was said by many to the young man.
Scott Knudsen, captain of the Nebraska Patriot Guard, said as he paid his respects, he offered up a prayer of thankfulness for the servicemember.
“I held him up to God as an example of the majority of people in this world and this United States of America," Knudsen said.
Among the mourners were some who knew Page, but many came to because they're feeling the loss of an Omaha son.
“The people of Nebraska are a strong people, and they understand the tragedy of this loss," Knudsen said.
Through tears, salutes and silent prayers, the city that calls him hero had their own moment to honor Cpl. Page.
“It’s amazing how many people want to come and support, and they’re still coming," Rothgeb said.
While the sanctuary will be reserved for loved ones, the vicar says they have a space for about 600 people in their community center for anyone wanting to attend the funeral Friday morning.
The funeral is scheduled for 10am at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.