SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The flag draped casket carrying the body of 20-year-old Nicholas Panipinto was brought into Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery by a pair of horses, with family and friends walking behind.
Hundreds more paid their respects Wednesday afternoon during a service remembering a life of an Army soldier cut way too short.
Panipinto lost his life on November 6th when a fighting vehicle he was in overturned during a training exercise.
Bradenton resident Vanessa Roach wanted to share the importance of this day with her children.
“I think it’s overwhelming, and I don’t know him, I don’t know anybody that does know him, I feel for the family I couldn’t imagine, very sad,” said Roach.
Panipinto’s mom and dad received the American flag as a reminder of how their son gave his life for our country. The Patriot Guard Riders and Blue Star Mothers also made a presentation to the family.
Everyone in attendance was very emotional over Wednesday’s burial ceremony, and that includes the Jeepin Divas who lined their Jeeps along the road near the entrance to the cemetery. One of their members was a godmother to Nicholas Panipinto.
“We both have sons his age so it’s kind of tough, it’s very tough," said Casey Poli and Yvonne Berger. "Seeing the support from the community and the Jeepers, it’s kind of beautiful at the same time.”
Panipinto had attended Manatee High School. He was the oldest of seven siblings.