Remembering Cpl. Ricky Bell

Remembering Cpl. Ricky Bell
By: Holly Brantley

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. - A friend, an entertainer and a jokester.  That's how friends and family in Caruthersville say they'll remember Cpl. Ricky Bell.

The 21 year old died alongside his fellow soldiers in a Black Hawk helicopter crash.  It was a mission he volunteered for.

"He loved the army," said his aunt Glenda Overbey. "Knowing he volunteered for the mission makes us happy."

It's been almost a week since Caruthersville heard the news.  Since then, people in Caruthersville made every effort to show Ricky what his service and his friendship meant to them.

More than 750 turned out for a processional Tuesday returning Cpl. Bell to his hometown.

"He was a hero and a friend," said Michael Schoolcraft.

Folks lined up around the corner of The First Baptist Church to say a final goodbye.

Meanwhile, the Kennett Fire Department raised a giant flag of red white and blue.  The 20 by 40 foot symbol of patriotism honors the fallen hero for his service and his sacrifice.

"We could not say enough about the outpouring of the community," said Overbey. "The food, the calls, everybody's been wonderful.  That's what small communities do, they pull together at a time like this."
Visitation is scheduled for 5:00 Tuesday evening at the First Baptist Church in Caruthersville.  Funeral services will be held Wednesday morning.  Cpl. Bell will be buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Hayti.