Region pays tribute to fallen soldier

North of Bay Rd., a group of young adults held up an American Flag with metallic duct tape on it, bearing the message "Thank You, Ben."

Farther west, groups of people gathered in front of the East Cove Restaurant and the American Legion Post 374 to salute Osborn.

The motorcade passed by where Ben had been schooled for seven of his early years - Lake George Elementary School. There, schoolchildren and staff pressed against the chain-lank fence, waving flags in Osborn's honor.

At the corner of Rte. 9 and 9L, Lake George Town employees lined up in front of all the town highway trucks and heavy equipment. Across the road, dozens of schoolchildren were gathered in the Gift World parking lot, waving flags.

The procession continued, traveling north on I-87 a mile or so to Exit 22, then came south through Lake George Village. In front of one motel after another, motel owners, managers, guests, and chambermaids clad in smocks gathered on the sidewalks and paid their respects.

Standing on the Canada St., Ted Galusha of Warrensburg cried while he watched the motorcade go by.

"Oh man, I've never seen anything like this," he said. "Guys like Ben Osborn fight for all of our individual freedoms that we enjoy every single day."

In front of Lake George High School, students held up a large sign reading, "Thank You, Ben - Lake George's hero."

The hearse stopped in front of the school, for a rendition of Taps played by Joel Matthews of the Lake George Community Band.

Throughout the procession, many wore shirts emblazoned with "40," which was Osborn's football jersey number when he was a determined, accomplished linebacker and tight end on the high school team.

The motorcade continued into the center of the Village, which was packed with mourners and area visitors paying their respects, then it turned up Beach Rd.

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