PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A tearful farewell was said today for US Navy petty officer Michael Strange, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this month in Afghanistan.

The line of mourners at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, on Logan Circle, extended out the door and all the way down the street.

Hundreds of people, including friends and members of various branches of the Armed Forces, filed in to pay their last respects to Michael Strange, who died earlier this month along with 29 other service members in the crash of a Chinook helicopter in Eastern Afghanistan (see previous story).

obrien maggie side kurtz Final Farewell For Naval Officer From Philadelphia Killed In Afghanistan

(Maggie O'Brien. Credit: Paul Kurtz)

Maggie O’Brien, Strange’s aunt (right), says he will be remembered as a young man who had an undeniable presence.

“Michael will always be remembered for being confident yet humble, for being easygoing yet having laser focus, and for being compassionate and understanding but also for standing by his values and convictions,” she said today.

O’Brien added that her nephew died doing what he loved best.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060

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