A Canadian killed while secretly fighting Islamic State militants in Syria is being laid to rest at a funeral Wednesday afternoon in Niagara Falls.
The funeral for 24-year-old Nazzareno Tassone happened exactly a year after he left home and exactly six months after his death.
Tassone left Edmonton last June, telling his family he was going to Iraq to teach English. He secretly slipped into Syria to join forces with a U.S.-backed Kurdish group called the YPG.
He was killed on Dec. 21 in the city of Raqqa while fighting militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIS.
His body, which was repatriated just over a week ago, first travelled from Toronto down the Highway of Heroes, to his burial site at Fairview Cemetery in Niagara Falls.
On Tassone's online obituary, his aunt Rose Tassone wrote about her family's everlasting love for her nephew, and sent condolences to his parents.
"He was wonderful and kind and it is so hard to believe that he is gone," she wrote. "I can't imagine the pain that you are feeling as his parents and siblings but maybe knowing that he was loved and respected by so many people will help just a little.
"Rest in Peace my beautiful nephew."
Tassone's family learned of his death in early January after receiving a letter from the group. The letter also said Tassone's body had been taken by ISIL militants. His body was recovered last month.