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On Assignment: Funeral for U.S. Army Spc. Rafael Nieves Jr.

JERSEY CITY, N.J., JULY 21, 2011 -- Army Spc. Rafael Nieves Jr., 22, who grew up in Jersey City and Bayonne, was laid to rest today. His funeral Mass was held at St. Aloysius Church in Jersey City and a military funeral was held at Rosehill Cemetery in Linden. Nieves was killed in Afghanistan on July 10. Above, family members of U.S. Army Spc. Rafael Nieves Jr. including his wife Sarah McKinney holding their daughter Emma Grace, 2; his mother Tina Roman with stepfather Thomas Priolo; his father Rafael Nieves Sr. who is carrying his four-month-old son, Rafael Nieves III; and his brother, Matthew Nieves; watch as military pallbearers carry his casket out of St. Aloysius Church. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

The flag-draped casket of U.S. Army Spc. Rafael Nieves Jr. is carried into St. Aloysius Church. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

Patriot Guard Riders line up outside the church. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

The casket of Rafael Nieves Jr. is draped with a white sheet for the funeral Mass. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

Patriot Guard Riders salute as the flag-draped casket of Rafael Nieves Jr. is carried out of the church after the funeral Mass. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

Patriot Guard Riders escort the hearse to Rosehill Cemetery in Linden. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

The hearse arrives at Rosehill Cemetery in Linden past soldiers of the New Jersey Army National Guard. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

A Patriot Guard Rider salutes as Rafael Nieves Jr.'s casket is carried by New Jersey Army National Guard pallbearers at Rosehill Cemetery for military honors. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

The casket is carried past a table with U.S. flags, and Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals which will be given to Rafael Nieves Jr.'s family in his honor. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

The military honors is conducted outside the crematorium of Rosehill Cemetery. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

The casket guard prepare to fold the flag. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

The New Jersey Army National Guard fires off a volley of shots as a salute. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

A bugler plays Taps. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

Family members watch as the flag over the casket is folded. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

U.S. Army Major General Anthony R. Ierardi presents Sarah McKinney, the wife of Army Spc. Rafael Nieves Jr., with the flag that was draped over her husband's casket. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

U.S. Army Major General Anthony R. Ierardi presents Rafael Nieves Sr., holding his granddaughter, Emma Grace, with the U.S. flag. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Journal)

Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division present and read the significance of the medals--a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart--awarded to Army Spc. Rafael Nieves Jr. and each given to Nieves' wife, mother and father. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

U.S. Army Major General Anthony R. Ierardi presents Rafael Nieves Jr.'s mother, Tina Roman, with one of the Bronze Medals. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

Jonathan Roa comforts Matthew Nieves, brother of Rafael Nieves Jr. Roa said that it was Rafael who introduced him to his future wife. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

Mourners pay their final respects to Rafael Nieves Jr. (Reena Rose Sibayan/The Jersey Journal)

┬áRead the story by Julius Zeitlinger of The Jersey Journal: Nieves is remembered as ‘real hero’ at funeral Mass at St. Aloysius

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