Fort Hood Families Band Together to Grieve and Honor the Fallen

By Sadie Bass

Nov 10, 2009 7:22pm

ABC's Christine Romo, James Hill, Stephanie Wash, and Catherine Cole report: Today all of America came together in a day of solemn remembrance. The wounds of the senseless tragedy at Fort Hood cut deep and wide. On this day Americans shared in the heartache of the Army’s family along with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. But the grief shown today could not be contained within the walls of the Fort Hood military post. ABC News was there with the victim’s families as they watched the country pay homage to the fallen loved ones. Today Leila Willingham remembered her brother, Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, at the Ft. Hood memorial. “I heard taps last night at 10-o-clock and I broke down,” Willingham revealed. “Pretty badly because it’s honor and it’s pain in just a few notes, you know?” she explained. Across the country the families of the 13 victims killed in Thursday’s attack have banded together to grieve and honor their loved ones. In St. Paul, Minnesota, 15 relatives of Pfc. Kham Xiong gathered at his high school to watch and mourn. Many of his family members were overcome with emotion as his name echoed in the hall. Xiong’s brother, Robert Xiong remembered him as a role model and a hero with a great sense of humor. “He was loved by many,” Xiong told ABC News. Marilyn Attebery was heartbroken watching the memorial for her brother, Michael Cahill, the only civilian killed in the rampage. Attebery watched in abject sorrow from her home in Spokane, Washington. “It was devastating – it has devastated us,” Attebery described the loss of her brother. “It’s just too much tragedy at this time.” Meanwhile the families of the 43 wounded last Thursday grieved for their own. The family of 21-year-old Pvt. Najee Hull clings to every bit of hope in Homewood, Ill. Hull remains in critical condition in a Texas hospital. “He’ll never be the same,” his mother Yvette Hull told ABC News. “He has wounds that will be with him the rest of his life.” And in Kiel, Wi. an entire community stood still and paid its respects to Sgt. Krueger. “She was the bravest of brave as far as we’re concerned, and I think the nation hopefully sees that,” Dan Krueger, who lost his niece Sgt. Amy Krueger, told ABC News. The procession carrying the remains of Krueger served as a potent reminder of the tragic toll that the Fort Hood attack has had on so many. And as President Obama said so fittingly, no words can fill the void.

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