Those who knew 36-year-old Major James Brophy remember his honor.
"James, I remember when he was born. He was coming over [to] my house, playing with my son. [He was a] very, very good boy, very respected. He was going to make it, he was a major — the 36th — that’s very impressive," said family friend Jim Sassone.
Brophy graduated from Roosevelt High School in Staatsburg in 2001 and soon after joined the United States Marine Corps.
Brophy's funeral services were held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center to accomodate the large crowds coming to pay their respects. He was one of five servicemen who died when two military planes collided last month off the coast of Japan.
Local leaders say it's important to honor the Marine and pay their respects along with the rest of the community.
“We want Major Brophy’s family to know that we as the Dutchess County community mourns their loss, but also celebrates his life. He was and remains an American hero,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
Mayor Rob Rolison knows Major Brophy’s father Mike Brophy, a Poughkeepsie firefighter who served with the department for more than 40 years. Rolison says he wanted to pay his respects to the family.
"I didn’t know Major Brophy but I could tell you he was one fantastic human being; as I said, a renaissance man,” Rolison said.
The Brophy family says they are completely heartbroken by their loss, and have released a statement in regards to his passing.
"James was the best husband, father, son, brother, uncle, marine, and pilot. He loved his family unconditionally and dedicated so much of his time to his two children," the statement read.
Family and friends stand equally by their side.
“My heart goes out to them, I’m here if they ever need it, and God bless them," Sassone said.
Major Brophy was to be laid to rest at Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery. The marine was married with two children, and his family says they will miss him immensely.