ENNIS, Texas, Oct. 25 -- It was standing room only Wednesday at the Texas funeral for a 21-year-old sailor killed Oct. 12 in the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
Seaman Timothy Gauna, the ship's radio operator, was in the mess hall of the destroyer when a terrorist bomb ripped a hole in the side of the ship, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39 more.
Two other sailors from Texas were also killed in the suicide attack.
Hundreds crowded the small town church where Navy Adm. John Costas eulogized the fallen seaman and talked about the price of freedom.
"Freedom is not free," he said. "It's never been so and it never will be, freedom is won by those willing to put themselves in harm's way so that this great country of ours can live in freedom's precious warmth and bask in the glow of liberty."
The sailor's mother, Sarah Gauna, of Rice, was presented with a Purple Heart and another medal her son had earned earlier by saving the life of a fellow sailor who was choking in the ship's mess hall.
Several of Gauna's shipmates from the USS Cole attended the funeral along with more than 50 sailors from the Joint Reserve Center in Fort Worth.
After the service at the Church of God in Ennis, a town of about 700 southeast of Dallas, the funeral procession carried the coffin and mourners across town to a cemetery. Many townspeople stood along the route, some of them holding their hands over their hearts.
A Navy honor guard carried Gauna's flag-drapped coffin to its final resting place where taps were played and the sailor was accorded full military honors. He could have been buried at Arlington National Cemetery but his mother wanted him close to home.