Hundreds gathered Saturday afternoon at The Shrine of Remembrance in Colorado Springs to pay their respects to Army Specialist Rob Nichols, a soldier who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan.
It was the type of ceremony, family and friends say the fallen soldier would have wanted.
"He loved the army, and he wanted to serve his country," said his step grandfather Merlin Dennis. "There was no doubt about that one."
The 24 year old soldier was killed during an attack on his convoy in Afghanistan in July. His mother fought back tears Saturday as she was handed a flag in his memory, and told by Brigadier General Tom James that her son was a hero.
"Infantrymen are at the point of the spear," said James. "That's what he raised his hand and wanted to do, and he made the ultimate sacrifice so that others could live."
His family says they take some comfort knowing he died doing a job he loved.
"I think the army was made for him," said his step grandmother Barbara Dennis. "He gave it all he could right up until the very end, and we're very proud of him."
A private service for the soldier will be held on Monday.