WEYMOUTH - Hundreds of motorcycle riders came out to pay their final respects Friday to a Navy veteran who was originally going to be buried alone.
Anthony Meizis was a Navy seaman who died recently at the age of 80.
He had paid for funeral services at McDonald Keohane Funeral Home in Weymouth, but the funeral home struggled to find any family to attend. Meizis has a cousin in the area, but she is disabled, and was unable to make it.
The funeral director, Cara Johnson, contacted No Veteran Buried Alone, a group that organizes motorcycle processions for veterans in need of support. They also have connections to the American Legion Riders. When the Department of Mass American Legion Riders put out an all call on Facebook, Johnson's phone began ringing.
"I had no idea it would go crazy like this," she toldearlier this week.
Hundreds of motorcycle riders came to the funeral home Friday morning to honor Meizis before he was buried at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.
Angel Zaporetski said her group, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, got a message from the funeral home asking if they'd come escort Meizis to his final resting place. She called several other motorcycle groups to join in.
"He loved motorcycles and they requested help for an escort. So, of course, that's what we do. We're here to help people, we're a charity organization. So we were absolutely all in for veterans," said Zaporetski, who said she's not surprised that so many people showed up. "What people don't realize is a lot of people in the biker community are charitable, that's what we're here for. We're here to help."
"I'm a Weymouth kid, I came up from Plymouth and we're going to see this soldier back to rest," said Bill Kennefick. "We don't know him, it doesn't matter. That's a sad story for a Vietnam vet to go out alone. Everybody just rallied up and here we are."
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