Thousands of students, staff members from two schools, and local residents paid their respects Friday morning as the hearse carrying the body of Spc. Christopher A. Patterson was driven past West Aurora High School and Jefferson Middle School.
Patterson, a 2009 graduate of West Aurora -- where his mother, Mary, works -- was killed Jan. 6 in an explosion in the Kandahar Province in Afghanistan.
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Patterson was stationed there with the 713th Engineer Company of the Indiana National Guard. Patterson lived in North Aurora.
Patterson's body arrived at Midway Airport Wednesday afternoon.
The Patriot Guard Riders accompanied Friday's procession. The North Aurora and Countryside Fire Protection District and the Aurora Fire Department hung an American flag between two firetrucks at one of the high school's entrances.
Visitation for Patterson was scheduled from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Batavia. His funeral is at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church, 950 Hart Road. Burial will be private.
Patterson's funeral service will be videocast live on the BATV website, http://batv.us/.