Community pays respects to Fortunato

Dan Mac Alpine

Beverly High School ROTC cadets and members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a group supporting U.S. soldiers and their families, are greeting mourners at the entrance to the high school field house as they enter to pay their respects to Spc. 4 Stephen Fortunato who was killed when his humvee hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

Mourners are waiting in a steadily, but slowly moving line for about 45 minutes.

Members of Fortunato’s family, his two surviving brothers, his mother Elizabeth Crawford, and his widow, Sherri, and members of his extended family and close friends are greeting mourners before they file past the flag-draped casket.

Beverly police are keeping traffic moving steadily in and out of the high school parking lot and traffic moving smoothly around the high school.