The life of Staff Sergeant Alex Jimenez is being celebrated in Corona, Queens, where he grew up. Jimenez was kidnapped in Iraq with two other soldiers when his unit - the Second Brigade, Tenth Mountain Division - was ambushed. Yesterday mourners lined the streets of Corona to honor his memory and begin to say goodbye. WNYC's Kathleen Horan was there.
REPORTER: Alex Jimenez's family endured more than a year without knowing whether he was alive or dead. His mother kept a shrine of candles burning near his picture in her living room for all that time, believing he might walk through her door again.
That hope was dashed earlier this month when she received the news that her son's remains had been found. His wife Yaderlin says that at least the tortuous wait is over, and it brings some relief to know that he can finally rest in peace. But, she added, that all their hope didn't pull him through.
The viewing for Staff Sergeant Jimenez will be held tonight at the Rivera funeral home on 37th avenue. And services tomorrow morning will be across the street - at Our Lady of Sorrows - the same church where Jimenez was baptized 25 years ago. For WNYC, I'm Kathleen Horan.