By Melanie Posey
SHELBY COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Hundreds lined the streets from Hoover to Montevallo, all to pay their final respects to a Marine from Hoover. Lance Corporal Thomas Rivers was killed April 28th by a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan. He was 22 years-old.
He had already served a tour-of-duty in Iraq. Rivers is a 2007 graduate of Briarwood Christian School. Thousands showed to his funeral Friday at Briarwood.
After the services, a motorcade led a white hearse carrying Rivers' body down Interstate 65, which was empty of cars. Officials had shut the highway down out of respect.
Hundreds lined the streets waving flags. Some flags hung from overpasses as a way to give a final salute. Included was Vietnam veteran James Doty. "It's touching because this is a hero," Doty said of the support. "This is a man that became something to give us freedom."
Rivers was buried in the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo. He is the first Marine killed in the line-of-duty to be buried there.
Rivers leaves behind his mother, father, and younger sister.