WEST ORANGE, N.J. (FOX 5 NY/AP) - Hundreds of people packed the gym at West Orange High School to pay tribute to Christopher "C.J." Morgan, a graduate and cadet at West Point who was killed in a training accident early Thursday morning.
The school honored him Tuesday evening with a memorial service. Morgan was the most decorated wrestler in West Orange athletics history. A pair of wrestling shoes were placed at the center of the mat during the service.
People who knew him said that his death leaves a void as large as the personality C.J. once exhibited. Over the course of two hours, the community remembered C.J. as a star wrestler, a football player, a member of the band, a star student, a family man, a man of faith, and a person of character filled with a sense of duty and purpose.
Cadet Morgan was the first student from West Orange to go to West Point. His younger brother Colin will follow in his footsteps. Colin told the crowd that C.J. was the best brother anyone could have had.
"I love you, man, and I’ll finish what you started," Colin said.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy directed that state and U.S. flags be lowered on Wednesday to honor Morgan.
The U.S. Military Academy will hold a private funeral for Morgan on campus in West Point.