93-year-old war hero from Massachusetts gets final salute

CONCORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was in attendance Thursday when friends and family of Korean War hero gathered to honor the life of Navy Captain Thomas Hudner.

Hudner passed away earlier this week at the age of 93. He was given a 21-gun salute in front of Concord’s Holy Family Parish as part of a funeral ceremony.

“He’s just really a guy who is a role model for all of us, and I’m just happy to be here to pay my respects,” Capt. Sean Kearns said.

The Fall River native and Concord resident received the Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest military award, for his service in the Korean War.

Hudner crash-landed his plane on purpose to save the life of his wingman, Jesse Brown, who later died.

Brown’s granddaughter was among those who came to honor the man who nearly gave up his own life to save her grandfather’s.

“He was an amazing man. I wanted to pay our respects for all that he’s done for us,” said Jessica Knight Henry, Brown’s granddaughter.

Hudner, the former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, died on Monday. He leaves behind his wife of 49 years, four children, and a lasting, patriotic legacy.

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