Mourners honor Congressman Bill Young - WRBL

Mourners honor Congressman Bill Young

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Mourners honor Rep. Young in Pinellas Park Mourners honor Rep. Young in Pinellas Park
PINELLAS PARK, FL (WFLA) -

At the same place where military families gather to say goodbye to loved ones heading to war, people lined up to bid farewell to Congressman Bill Young.

At the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Pinellas Park that bears his name, they passed flags carried by a group called the Patriot Guard. 

Related story:  Rep. C.W. Young's body returns home

"Congressman Bill Young, great guy," said Patriot Guard member Dave Swierenga.  "He's gonna be well missed.  He did a lot for this community.  Just gonna say, just a great guy. His name is gonna go on for a long time around here."

Congressman Young is remembered as a voice in Washington for the military, including active duty, and returning veterans.

"Congressman C.W. Bill Young was a champion of the American fighting man and woman. He cared for them deeply.  He was one of them,” said Major General Emmett Titshaw.

Many consider the senior Congressman as much more than a lawmaker. 

"It's a sad day.  It's tough.  We've lost a great public servant, a good friend too soon,” said former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker.

The family of Congressman Young released a statement reading as follows:  "Our family would like to thank the thousands of people who have come out this evening to pay their respects to our husband, our father, and our grandfather.  He touched so many lives over his 53 years of public service to the people of our nation, our state and our community.  He loved this community and this is a special moment to see that love shared by so many this evening." 

The funeral service is scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks in Largo.

Related story:  Rep. Young's widow to Charlie Crist: stay away from funeral

In a private ceremony, Congressman Young will be buried at Bay Pines Cemetery next to his mother.

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