Family and friends pay respects to fallen B-52 pilot

By Ben Wolf - email | bio

CITY, STATE (KSLA) -   An emotional ceremony was held in the Ark-La-Tex honoring a Barksdale pilot who died while serving his country.

Major Christopher Cooper died Monday when his B-52 plane crashed 30 miles northwest of Guam.

There was almost complete silence outside Saint Jude's Catholic Church in Bossier City.

American flags lined the grass, summer heat beat down on a parking lot full of cars, and flowers fluttered slightly in a mild wind.

Inside, more than a hundred paid tribute to Major Christopher Cooper.

"I knew he risked himself in his career and that was something I had thought about for a long time," said his brother, Tim Cooper.

The Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran lost his life Monday when his B-52 Stratofortress crashed 30 miles northwest of Guam.

"I knew he was doing what he loved up until the very last second," said Tim Cooper.

Friends and family say Major Cooper loved music, art, and his alma mater, the University of Texas.

"He was passionate about the Longhorns, Texas Longhorns, he was from Texas, and he would always bring up the Longhorns," said neighbor Robert Gerbus.

His family says Major Cooper wanted to fly since he was a youngster.

"He was in the cockpit when he was four and I think from then on he was sold," said Tim Cooper.

People travelled from as far as New York and Montana to pay their respects.

"His reach was wide and I don't know if I'll ever know it, but I've been learning a lot more about it," explained Tim Cooper.

While it remained silent outside the church, there is no doubt memories of Major Christopher Cooper filled the hearts and minds of those present with sounds of laughter and happiness.