Norwalk soldier laid to rest in Queens
(08/08/03) NORWALK - A Norwalk soldier killed in a grenade attack in Iraq was laid to rest on Friday, but before the funeral, loved ones had a chance to say their final goodbyes at a mass in Queens.
Friends, family and fellow servicemen packed into the St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood to pay a last tribute to their fallen hero, 24-year-old Army specialist Wilfredo Perez of Norwalk. Perez, who was killed two weeks ago while guarding a children's hospital in Baghdad, was the first serviceman from Norwalk killed in the line of duty in almost 34 years.
In addition to people who knew Perez personally, Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays (R) and other Norwalk officials attended the mass. As the ceremony came to an end, fellow soldiers carried out Perez's casket and made a final salute before heading to a Brooklyn cemetery.
Perez's family plans to hold a memorial service in Norwalk on August 20. It will be held at St. Thomas Church on East Avenue at 7:30 p.m. A reception will follow at the American Legion Hall.