Army Ranger Corporal Matthew A. Commons, 21, of Boulder City, Nevada, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Killed in action in eastern Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda. Died on March 4, 2002. A member of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, he died with two other soldiers during a nine-hour firefight trying to rescue a Navy Seal.
Buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery six months to the day after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and 18 months
after he enlisted.
Brig. Gen. Richard Mills, deputy commanding general of the Army Special Operations Command, presented Commons's parents with a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star for valor and a Meritorious Service Medal, all awarded to their son posthumously. Commons, a private first class, was also promoted to corporal after his death.
When the mourners began to depart, Aaron Commons, 18, knelt over his brother's silver casket and prayed.
"He made a sacrifice that will always be remembered," the Rev. Joseph Annese said in his eulogy. Annese is pastor of the church in Boulder City, Nev., where Matt Commons taught Sunday school.