Updated 07/13/2011 11:42 PM
Thousands Attend Murdered Brooklyn Boy's Funeral
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An emotional end to a family's terrible ordeal came Wednesday night as family, friends and thousands of community members gathered in Borough Park, Brooklyn to pay their respects to eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky, whose dismembered body was found earlier in the day.
As is customary in Orthodox Judaism, the funeral was put together as soon as the medical examiner released the body to the family.
Many who came out didn't even know the boy, but they stood shoulder to shoulder in a sea of sadness.
"I think people feel a strong feeling of connection. It could be somebody else's child, but you maybe even feel like it's your child, your family," said one man present.
"My father said ‘please take me to this funeral,’ and my father has difficulty walking — he doesn't like to go around the block. I said ‘I'm coming to get you, dad’ and we came right over," said a woman.
"It's all about submission to the will of God. We accept what comes," said another man.
Leiby's father spoke at the funeral, choking back tears.
The family will now begin a seven-day mourning period.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed his condolences to the boy's family.
"Some things are just inexplicable, a nine-year-old boy with a whole future, his life ahead of him and then gone,” said Bloomberg. “Obviously the perpetrator is a very sick individual, and this is the sort of thing — I don't know what's going to happen with the investigation, but it's hard to see how something like this could've been prevented."
The mayor is asking all New Yorkers to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers.