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Local Airman’s Body Returned to Boone; Convocation Center Preparing for Funeral, 1,000+ Attendees

By Ethan Woodhouse

July 12, 2012. Fallen airman Major Ryan David’s body was flown into Charlotte Douglas International Airport Wednesday morning and delivered to Boone later that evening by Austin and Barnes Funeral Home. A group of volunteer cyclists escorted the hearse into Boone at approximately 6 p.m. Austin and Barnes later announced that the Holmes Convocation Center will host David’s funeral Saturday, July 14, at 2 p.m. and is preparing for over 1,000 attendees, including Gov. Bev Perdue. A burial will follow at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Blowing Rock. David will be buried with full military honors.

David passed away Sunday July 1 when the C-130 aircraft he was aboard, named Hercules, crashed while fighting the White Draw Fire near Edgemont, South Dakota. Senior Master Sgt. Robbie Cannon, Maj. Joe McCormick and Lt. Col Paul Mikeal, all North Carolina Guardsmen, also passed away in the crash. The cause of the crash is yet to be determined. 

The State Highway Patrol said they will use the Caisson Unit, an Amish-built wagon 7-feet-wide, 24-feet-long and weighing approximately 1,500 pounds, in guiding David’s body from the funeral home to the Holmes Center. The wagon will be pulled by 4 black horses. 

Boone firefighters are set to line a one mile stretch of Rivers Street during the procession in honor of the man who died fighting fires in South Dakota, nearly 1,500 miles away from his home.

Perdue memorialized the four men killed in the crash Tuesday at the 145th Airlift Wing of the North Carolina Air National Guard in Charlotte. About 1,500 gathered at the Wing while fellow Guardsmen, family and Perdue spoke. 

The names of the Airmen have been inscribed on a memorial outside of the base. 

“For me, the memory of Ryan will always remind me of how I should live my life.  There are no bad days, just some days aren’t as awesome as others,” says Maj. Toshio Sameshima of his friend, David.

Family of Major Ryan David will have a receiving at Boone United Methodist Friday afternoon, July 13, from 2 to 4 p.m.

For information regarding the crash you can visit https://www.hcpress.com/news/boone-man-dies-while-fighting-wildfires-in-south-dakota-with-nc-air-national-guard.html.