Dozens of people hopped on bikes and rode about 1 1/2 miles, parade style, to the Chandler Bike Park.
CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) -
Family and friends said goodbye to 11-year-old Aaron Arnold Wednesday. The Chandler boy was killed last week when a truck hit him as he crossed Arizona Avenue mid-block Near Ray Road.
Several hundred people packed the First Assembly of God Church to listen to stories about the young man who everyone called fearless.
Aaron's cousin, Jacob Cotter, said the church was filled with a lot of laughter as the stories were told.
"He was such a good kid. There were so many to tell that you couldn't just stop," Cotter said.
Many people attending wore T-shirts with Aaron's picture on the front and a graphic design of a bicycle with a bear doing a stunt on it. You see, Aaron loved to ride his bike. His family and friends said it was his life. And his nickname was Air-Bear.
So it was fitting that as soon as the memorial service ended, dozens of people hopped on bikes and rode about 1 1/2 miles, parade style, to the Chandler Bike Park.
Even Aaron's mom, Trisha Arnold rode. And as she did she yelled out, "mommy loves you Air-Bear."
"It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life. He would have cracked up seeing us old people on bikes. He would have giggled about it. He would have thought it was so funny," Arnold said.
Once they got to the park, Aaron's two older brothers and dozens of bike-park friends honored him the best way they knew how - doing what he loved to do.
Bikes were catching air, handle bars were spinning and the crowd was cheering.
"He would have loved it. He would have seen how many people there are and thought, 'wow, so many people are out here for me?'" said his oldest brother, Chandler Golden.
Aaron's family attributed the wonderful celebration to the community. Food and drink were donated and there was man playing music through huge speakers to accompany the bikers doing their stunts.
"This is just totally amazing to have everybody together like this," Arnold said. "I am just blessed. My family is blessed and he (Aaron) is looking down on us right now, blessed as well. He's having a good time."
Copyright 2012 KPHO CBS 5 Meredith Corp. All rights reserved.
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