Public invited to gather at Auburn City Hall to honor Meridian soldier killed in Afghanistan

Army Staff Sgt. Francis Gene Phillips IV

The public will have a chance to pay their respects to a local soldier killed in Afghanistan.

The community is invited to gather on the steps of Auburn City Hall Tuesday evening to honor Army Staff Sgt. Francis Gene Phillips IV. He was killed May 4 by an improvised explosive device.

The memorial procession for Sgt. Phillips will begin at Hancock Airport in Syracuse where his remains are expected to arrive around 4:00 pm. The processions would then head to Auburn on Route 34 stopping at City Hall around 5:30 p.m. County residents along the route are urged to come out and join the community in honoring this local hero. "Our deepest sympathy and prayers are with the family and friends of Sgt. Phillips," said Auburn Mayor Michael Quill. "We will gather on the steps of city hall as the procession goes through Auburn to honor this young man's sacrifice and dedication to our country."

Sgt. Phillips was one of five soldiers from Fort Bliss killed in the IED attack. He is being buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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