Hundreds gather in Kennewick to remember fallen soldier

Hundreds of family members and friends of a Kennewick soldier who was killed last month gather to honor his memory today.

The funeral service for U.S. Army Specialist Robert Ellis was held this morning at the South Hills Church in kennewick.

Even people who have never met Ellis came to the service.

Outside, dozens of veterans lined the sidewalks of the church, holding American flags to honor him.

Inside, family members and friends mourned his death and remembered his life.

They say Ellis had a gentle spirit and a great smile, and they say he is a national hero.

"Relief is not found in this moment. No, it's not in this moment where our hearts are filled with sadness. It's not in this moment where we realize that what we once took for granted, a smile, a joke, a simple conversation, can never be had again" said one family member.

"We're all gonna see him again someday, and he'll always be our hero" said another family member.

Ellis was killed during a rocket attack in Afghanistan.

Two other soldiers died alongside Ellis.

Ellis graduated from Kennewick High School in 2010 before serving in the Army.