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Killed Kinnelon Soldier Returns Home

Residents line Kinnelon Road as the body of U.S. Army Specialist Jonathan Batista is brought to Our Lady of the Magnificat Church.

Residents from the tri-boro and beyond lined Kinnelon Road Sunday afternoon to pay their respects to U.S. Army Specialist Jonathan Batista, a soldier from the borough who July 8.

Batista was a member of the 2nd Batallian, 321st Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, N.C., according to the Department of Defense. He was killed by enemy small arms fire.

According to his obituary, Batista is remembered as having a "charismatic personality."

The hearse carrying Batista's body passed through Kinnelon Road on its way to (OLM) Church for viewing hours Sunday. A Monday at OLM.

If you attended Sunday's memorial event, upload your photos to the gallery.

Ellen July 15, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Prayers to the family and friends of a special young man who fought for our freedoms!
J.P. July 15, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I was honored to be part of the motorcycle escort for this local hero, prayers to family and friends.R.I.P. SIR
Donna Weatherwalks July 15, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I also joined the many people lining Kinnelon Road this afternoon. May God bless Jonathan's family and friends.
Flo Gallo July 15, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Thoughts and prayers to the family...May he rest in Eternal Peace.
Craig Hartman July 15, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this young Hero. May God Bless them through this hour of sorrow. Rest in peace Spc. Barista, you have done us proud.
Lindsay Koch July 15, 2012 at 11:41 PM
It was truly an honor to salute a fellow soldier..many prayers to his family+friends.
Bummer Cronk July 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Im Proud to say the Least, To Be a Part of Honoring Our Hero today, By Having My Flag Flown by Rutherford and Bloomingdale Ladder trucks, I extend my Thanks to Our Hero, who paid the Ultimate Sacrifice for Our country !!!!! "RESPECT & HONOR"
Jessica Lento July 16, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Thoughts and Prayers to Jonathans family and friends. Mourn his loss but be proud of what he had done for his country. He was a true man of honor. May he rest in peace.
michelle Inteli Longinotti July 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM
This is how every town should welcome their hero's home! I am proud to be from kinnelon!
Jessica July 16, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I wish this gathering was to welcome you home under different circumstances. It was a true honor to be in the presence of a community (communities) that came together to honor and remember you. Thank you for your years of services. You will forever be in my thoughts!
Jeremy Schablik July 16, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Sadly and honorably, Jonathan Batista and his entire family are forever part of our community history. RIP hero. A most excellent family you have...and we have their back. Kinnelon might be a smaller NJ town in terms of population, but there is nothing small about it. I am prouder than ever to be but a small stitch in the fabric of this truly great town. I know the family is in awe from what Kinnelon stands for...hug em when you see em.
Richard Dean July 16, 2012 at 05:48 PM
While our sorrow and sympatchies are extended to SPC Jonathan Batista's family and friends, it was a very nice tribute to a true American hero who volunteered to serve our country knowing that this could be the result. My great-uncle John A Dean, for whom American Legion Post 154 is named after being killed in World War I, would be very proud of Jonathan and all the others.
Patricia O. Joppien July 16, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Amen - Home of the free because of the BRAVE!

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