Funeral services held for 2 men, young boy swept away in Milwaukee drainage ditch
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Hundreds turned out to say goodbye to a child and the two men who tried to rescue him from a drainage ditch this week.
A funeral service was held for the two men and young boy who died after being swept away in a rain-swollen drainage ditch during Monday night's storms.
Traditional Muslim prayers were held at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee on Friday, June 17, followed by the burial at Arlington Park Cemetery for the two adults, Rashidullah Abdul Hashim and Zakaria Gonumeah, and the 10-year-old boy they tried to save, Mouhammad Arman Rashidullah.
"And we never, it's like a nightmare we're not waking up to. This still is beyond real to us," said Rabiah Abbul Karim, Zakaria's niece.
A solemn prayer got the afternoon started at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee.
Father and son, and their hero neighbor, were laid to rest less than four days after falling into a drainage ditch and being swept into a tunnel by fast-moving water.
"In our religion like the fact that you are able to be buried on a Friday, I mean it means a lot," said Max Muhammad, Rohingya Community Youth President.
In this room, only men and boys are present, as loved ones carry the caskets of Zakaria Gonumeah, Roshidullah Abdul-Hashim and Mouhammad Arman Roshidullah.
"And you know it means a lot that the fact that all both families were able to gather together and then have that one ceremony," said Muhammad.
After prayers, a quick procession to Arlington Cemetery. Blue skies and sunshine greeted the Rohingyan community as they gathered around an earth mover to watch three caskets be lowered into the ground side by side.
"Arman is an angel, still an angel and the lifesavers are next to him and I feel like it's a, it's a nice thing to see," said Bibi Ayesha Abdul Shuaur, Zakaria's niece.
Roshidullah and Zakaria are being remembered as heroes.
"And you know the way that they have passed away, they went there to save someone, they'll be in, you know, the highest rank in heaven," said Muhammad.
"Because he was trying to save another and he passed away, like, we're very honored that he was gone that way," said Rabiah.
But, the family tells CBS 58 the men had been heroes long before the KK river rescue. The refugees left Malaysia for better education and more opportunities for their children.
"So moving here is the best thing that he did," said Bibi.
The family expressed appreciation for the long hours that firefighters worked, and for the community's help in the four-day search. There is now a GoFundMe link that can be found here.
The family also tells CBS 58 to please watch out for other links that are not the official one.