Otto Warmbier was laid to rest today in his hometown of Wyoming, Ohio, and hundreds upon hundreds showed up to pay their final respects.
Taking place at Wyoming High School’s arts center, thousand of people showed up to the 22-year-old’s alma matter to bid him farewell.
Hundreds of well-wishers waited in two lines outside Wyoming High School’s arts center at least an hour before his funeral was set to begin at 9 a.m. ET in the Cincinnati suburb. The auditorium has an overflow capacity of 800 people, and there is room for several hundred more in other areas of the school.
Among the expected speakers were Warmbier’s brother, Austin, his sister, Greta, and some of his friends, according to the funeral program. Also due to attend was US Ambassador Joseph Yun, the special representative for North Korea policy, who helped secure Warmbier’s release
The front of the funeral program featured a quote from Warmbier’s salutatorian speech in 2013: “This is our season finale. This is the end of one great show, but just the beginning to hundreds of new spinoffs.”
Warmbier, the University of Virginia student who was detained in North Korea for nearly a year and a half, died on the afternoon of Monday, June 19.
Warmbier was originally sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a North Korean labor camp for “hostile acts against the DPRK”. Upon his release, North Korean officials claimed that Otto had become ill from botulism after his March trial and slipped into a coma after taking a sleeping pill. That claim was quickly disputed by United States doctors.
Speaking at a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night, Alex Vagonis, the college girlfriend of Otto Warmbier, called Otto her ‘soulmate’ who helped her become a better human being.