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Flags are flying at half staff in Maryland today in honor of Maj. Robert J. Marchanti, a Maryland Army National Guardsman who was killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban last month during an attack inside the Afghan interior ministry.
A funeral procession made its way this morning from Baltimore to Arlington National Cemetery, where Marchanti was buried. Dozens of motorcycles and hundreds of cars and buses joined the funeral procession, causing some traffic tie-ups, especially on the Capital Beltway and the American Legion Memorial Bridge.
Like many heroes before him, the last leg of Marchanti's solemn journey was across the Arlington Memorial Bridge into the cemetery, the gleaming white facade of the Lincoln Memorial serving as a backdrop.
There were three rifle volleys. He was buried with full honors at the Arlington National Cemetary. Marchanti's wife Peggy and his three sons and daughter were escorted to the ceremony by two generals and the presiding Army chaplain.
Mark McCabe was part of the motorcycle procession that accompanied Marchanti to Arlington, and one of hundreds of mourners.
"We want to do our part to show our respect for somebody who gave their life for our country," McCabe says. "He gave everything he could for us, so we're trying to give a little bit back, to show respect for the family."
Marchanti, a military advisor, was killed last month in Afghanistan, during a Taliban attack inside the Interior Ministry. The Taliban says that attack was revenge for the burning of Qurans on a NATO base.