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Morning Express with Robin Meade

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Hundreds turn out to remember hero bus driver

  • 'I'm sad to see you gone' -- students write letters to heroic bus driver
  • Standoff enters seventh day
  • Five-year-old hostage gets Hot Wheels & Cheez-Its
Memorial service for Charles Poland Jr.

Ex-FBI agent: Forcing Dykes out won't work

Jimmy Lee Dykes

Hundreds remembered a school bus driver who tried to save as many kids as he could when a kidnapper boarded his bus in Alabama last week.

Letters from students were read at Charles Poland Jr.'s memorial service Sunday in Ozark, Alabama.  

Poland was allegedly shot and killed by Jimmy Lee Dykes. Dykes is also accused of taking a 5-year-old boy off the bus and holding him hostage in an underground bunker, leading to a standoff that is entering its seventh day. 

The letters had messages like "I'm sad to see you gone” and “You didn't deserve to die, but you died knowing you kept everyone safe."

Another read, "Being on your bus has been some of the best times of my life."

A third student wrote, "I will miss your big, smiling face." 

CNN reports that Poland was remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was 66. 

Today, police are still surrounding the bunker where authorities say Dykes is holding the 5-year-old hostage. They are able to send things like medicine, toys, and snacks down to the boy via a pipe that extends from the surface into the underground space.

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