WINDERMERE, Fla. - Dozens of people lined Main Street in Windermere on Wednesday, holding flags and saluting officials as the crowd solemnly honored Evan Fitzgibbon. Fitzgibbon, 23, was a soldier and Foundation Academy alum. He was training in Georgia when a tree fell during a storm, killing him another.
Windermere resident Justin Shuler said the community was devastated. "I can’t imagine as a parent what that would be like. It’s just sad and unfortunate." This loss was tough for Shuler. Evan and his middle son were classmates. He continued, "Being in a small community like Windermere, it’s tight-knit and people need to realize we’re all in this together, this life together to support each other."
2nd Lt. Evan Fitzgibbon, Class of 2021. [Photo credit: The U.S. Military Academy at West Point]
It’s the support of this community that brought tears to the eyes of Brazil native, Angela Salles. "People here love the police, love the military, and I feel bad because in my country I don’t have this," she said.
She and so many like her stood alongside each other to honor, support, and bid their final farewell to their neighbor, friend, and hero. "It shows that we stay together, with them," Salles adds.