More than 2,000 people gathered Tuesday at Sarasota National Cemetery to pay respects to veteran Edward Pearson. Many had no idea who Pearson even was.

Pearson, a resident of Naples, died Aug. 31. His obituary went viral when the funeral director included this sentence in the service announcement: “This veteran has no immediate family and all are welcome to attend.”

CNN host Jake Tapper announced the ceremony on social media, and it took off. Pearson was 80.