WATERFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hundreds paid tribute to a fallen hero, who was killed after his military plane crashed in July.
Maj. Caine Goyette died after the plane he and 16 other military members were riding in crashed in Mississippi. On Wednesday, the Waterford native was honored by a community who said his legacy will live on forever.
The tragedy of his death shook the entire Capital Region.
“He sacrificed so much for us,” Waterford Mayor Jay Bert Mahoney said. “We knew him. We loved him. We wanted a way for us to show respect to his family.”
Hundreds gathered at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park in Waterford on Wednesday. Members of the military stood side-by-side with friends, family and neighbors. They were united in their grief and their hope to honor Goyette’s life.
“Waterford is a wonderful community,” Mahoney said. “We always take care of our own.”
Some never met Goyette, but they wanted to attend the memorial to thank him for his service. Others, like Marine Joseph Gregory Parker, served with him.
Parker said Goyette was serious about protecting his country, but he never lost his sense of fun.
“His laugh. He had a booming laugh that would knock your socks off because you’d never see it coming,” he said.
Parker said Goyette’s sacrifice will never be forgotten.
“He cared about the Marine Corps; he cared about his community,” he said. “He cared about the environment, and those traits will live on through his children and through the Marines, and it’s going to live on forever.”
Goyette became a Marine shortly after graduating from Waterford-Halfmoon High School in 1994. He then attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he earned a dual degree in electrical and computer systems engineering.
He also has family in Greenville where his funeral was held in July.
Officials have not determined what caused the plane to go down.
Goyette leaves behind a wife and two children.