St. Petersburg mourns fallen soldier - FOX 13 News

St. Petersburg mourns fallen soldier

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

A somber procession threaded its way across Tampa Bay, from MacDill Air Force Base to a funeral home in St. Petersburg. It was the hometown honor paid to Army Specialist Brittany Gordon, who was killed two weeks ago by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

The tragedy hit especially hard at the St. Pete Police Department because her father has such a high ranking. Cedric Gordon is a St. Pete native who rose through the ranks to become an assistant police chief.

Spc. Gordon's death was the Tampa Bay area's first loss of a female warrior. In Tampa, her gender was an issue for some people, but not for others.

"We just need to be thankful we have people willing to go to war for us. It's a sacrifice not many of us are willing to make," offered Gwen Hagen, who turned out to pay her respects.

Hagen was among the many people saluting the procession's progress up Bayshore Boulevard, the start of the journey to downtown St. Petersburg, where most people gathered in front of the St. Petersburg police station.

The former mayor who promoted her father explained why the Gordons are so well known.

"When I was mayor, I'd go to events all the time, right? And even when he was off duty, he was going around events and making sure things were going OK," Rick Baker explained.

Baker said he cannot imagine anything worse than the loss of a daughter -- sentiments expressed by a giant flag suspended between two fire trucks, ambulances pulled over in respect on Central Avenue, and by the greeting at the funeral home where Brittany Gordon will rest until funeral services on Saturday.

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