SPECIAL REPORT: The body of Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine, killed last week in Afghanistan, was brought to St. Luke’s Church in Ho-Ho-Kus early this afternoon, as throngs turned out to give the Waldwick native a hero’s welcome.
PHOTOS by Brett M. Dzadik for CLIFFVIEW PILOT
“I stood by the American Legion and after the procession went by we sang ‘God Bless America’ and ‘The Marines Hymn’,” Ann Delyannis told CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
The procession began after noon on Route 17 and worked its way past his home and Waldwick High School on its way to a viewing at the church, which continues until 9 tonight.
It passed Wyckoff Avenue on Franklin Turnpike in Waldwick, where the photo at left was taken by photographer and former firefighter Brett M. Dzadik.
Crowds along the route have been waving flags and showing their love and respect since late morning.
Many have worn the colors of the stars and stripes, as well.
“Husbands and wives along the way are hugging and crying, little children are holding American flags,” Dzadik said. “Marines and police from all over turned out. Without a doubt a very emotional tribute.”
An expert bomb technician, the 29-year-old D’Augustine was killed while supporting combat operations in the extremely volatile Helmand province. He had planning to return home later this month for his sister’s wedding.
D’Augustine joined the Marines after being graduated from Waldwick High School in 2001. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan after two tours of duty in Iraq.
The funeral service is at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Luke’s.
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