Flags at half-staff as friends, family remember OR Marine killed - KPTV - FOX 12

Flags at half-staff as friends, family remember OR Marine killed in helicopter crash

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STAYTON, OR (KPTV) -

Flags flew at half-staff around the state as friends and family gathered in Stayton to remember U.S. Marine Ty Hart.

Lance Cpl. Hart was one of 12 Marines who died after two CH-53-E Super Stallion helicopters collided during a routine training mission off the Hawaiian island of Oahu on Jan. 14th. 

The 21-year-old was a 2012 graduate of Stayton High School. A public memorial service honored Hart at the school on Saturday and the gym was packed with people paying their respects.

"It's crazy how many people showed up, how many people he affected," said longtime friend Kassidy Mack. "He's probably one of the nicest guys I've met in my life."

Dozens of honor guard members rode in for the service, as well as many others who never met Hart.

"I don't even know the young man," said Kim Espeland of Molalla. "He gave his life. Just come down to honor him."

Gov. Kate Brown ordered all flags at public buildings to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday.

The Hart family traveled to Hawaii last week for a memorial service for all 12 Marines after the week-long search operation following the crash was called off.

“We’re all broken right now, we’re all hurting,” Ty Hart's wife Hanna previously told FOX 12.  “But everyone’s hurting together and everyone’s coming together.”

The Hart family created memorial shirts that say, "Hart Strong," in partnership with Sport Fever Graphics, a screen printing business in Stayton.

All proceeds from the sale of the shirts go to the Lance Cpl. Ty Hart Memorial Fund, which will help athletes in the Stayton community afford program fees and purchase equipment to play sports.

Hart's family said he grew up as an athlete in martial arts, baseball, football and track.

His military decorations include the National Defense Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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