TAUNTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Dozens of Taunton community members came out to pay tribute to a local Army veteran who died without any living relatives in the area.
Arthur A. Schroeder, who served in World War II from 1942 to 1945, passed away last week and did not have any living relatives, according to Rev. Ami Dion. But the packed house at West Congressional Church Saturday for a memorial was a testament to the bonds he had with the community.
“His friends are his family,” Dion said. “People loved him here and he loved people and he drew people to him.”
Ally Silveira and her mother Helen, who attended the memorial, first met Schroeder four years ago at a restaurant.
“We saw him and we waved to him and it just started a beautiful friendship,” Ally said.
Helen was worried only a handful of people from the community would come to the memorial, but the large turnout proved her wrong.
“When we got here we were thrilled to see how many people from the community actually showed up,” Helen said.
“It really touched our hearts,” Ally added.
Besides community members, many veterans also attended after a social media post spread the word about Schroeder.
“Even though we served in different times, he’s still my brother,” said Ed Pederson of Disabled American Veterans.
“We took an oath never to leave a brother behind, brother or sister. So today we are here to uphold that oath and make sure he’s not alone,” said veteran Joseph Soares.
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